STRAWBERRY PLAINS, January 2, 1864.
(Received 10 p.m.)
The following information is just received from General Elliott, result of scouting parties I sent out this morning and from other sources.
The telegram is not well punctuated, but I will give it nearly literally:
Lieutenant-Colonel Lamborn, Fifteenth Pennsylvania, reports that rebel cavalry is on Long Creek picketing from Hays' Ferry to Coyle's, and at Kimbrough's Cross-Roads, with infantry at Hays' and from Kimbrough's to Chucky Bend. One of my scouts, in disguise as a rebel, from observation and rebel pickets, reports rebels running around at Turkey's Ferry; two regiments of cavalry and three pieces between there and Noe's Ford; at Noe's one regiment South Carolina infantry and two battalions cavalry. General Longstreet at Russellville; his force between there and Morristown; his strength 30,000 infantry and twenty-five pieces artillery, under marching orders to retreat through Bull's Gap. Half his army barefooted and provisions scarce. Buckner's command at Rheatown, with breast-works. The force in our front re-enforced by two brigades of infantry and a battery artillery. Zollicoffer bridge completed. Carter's command, one brigade infantry and battery artillery, gone to guard Paint Rock Gap. The scouts could see rebel pickets from north side of Holston. The scout toward Dandridge brings no information. Deserter from Fourth Tennessee Cavalry reports Armstrong's division at Panther Springs at 9 a.m. to-day.
S. D. STURGIS,
January 2, 1864-11 p.m.
I fear the enemy contemplates moving on the front, and at the same time moving cavalry round our right and turning into the rear of our cavalry by the roads leading toward Mossy Creek. Please have the roads toward the river and toward the Nola Chucky, as well as the road toward Dandridge, patrolled, and I think the cavalry should fall back to Mossy Creek at early dawn, unless you receive information rendering it necessary for you to do so earlier. That the enemy is after something of this kind I think there can be no doubt.
Please show this to Captain Rawolle.
S. D. STURGIS,
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,
Mount Pleasant, January 2, 1864.
Colonel J. S. CASEMENT,
Commanding Second Brigade:
We shall turn off from the pike to the right at the Gordon road, about 4 miles from here. The forks are near a post-office called Sandy Hook. Have your commands a little ahead of time rather than behind it in the morning.
J. D. COX,