War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0777 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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MERIDIAN, December 2, 1863.

Maj. Gen. S. D. LEE, via Oxford:

The President calls attention to the neglect to burn cotton liable to fall into the enemy's hands and to the extent of trade with the enemy.


NEAR KNOXVILLE, December 2, 1863.

President DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:

It is necessary that General Ransom's and General Vance's commands be placed under my orders. Please order it.



HEADQUARTERS, Near Knoxville, December 2, 1863.

General B. BRAGG,


GENERAL: Your message reached me the night before last. I am much grieved to hear of the necessity for you to withdraw your lines to Dalton. I hope that you may be able to collect forces there, not only to make a successful stand, but to threaten the enemy's flank in such a way as to prevent his sending succor to the forces at Knoxville. The enemy being between us, I do not regard it as practicable for me to rejoin. My transportation is too limited to supply us by a doubtful mountain route, and the only other route is occupied by the enemy. The best thing left for me to do is to capture the garrison here or force the enemy to great delays in other operations by sending a large force to its succor. I hope to have General Ransom with me in a few days, and shall then be strong enough to resist any ordinary succoring force. I shall hope that you will prevent any succor from Chattanooga. I am changing my depot from Loudon to some point in the direction of Virginia, and cannot spare the cavalry till that is safely executed.

I am, as you are aware, threatened on every side, without communication in any direction, so that cavalry is indispensable to me. I hope to be able to return it to you soon. I made an assault upon the enemy's works upon the 29th ultimo, and was repulsed with a loss of 800 in killed, wounded, and missing. The assault was made by Wofford's, Humphreys', and Bryan's brigades, of McLaws' division, and Anderson's brigade, of Hood's division.

I remain, general, your most obedient servant,



HEADQUARTERS, Near Knoxville, December 2, 1863.

Hon. R. L. OWEN,

President of Virginia and East Tennessee Railroad:

The enemy has cut my communication with General Bragg's army, and I am so situated as to make me dependent upon your road as a