OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL OF EAST TENN.,
Knoxville, Tenn., January 5, 1864.
Rev. Mr. Sneed, further questioned, say he knows of no ford or ferry above Dandridge, until you get to Newport. At that place there is a good ferry and ford, which is easily passed by cavalry; a good bottom of small rocks; the banks are very good; it is as good a ford as he knows of in the country; only one boat there, and that a large and good one. Seven miles above Newport, at Stephen Hough's there is another good ford. No ferry-boat there. The road that crosses the ford intersects the Warm Springs road, leading into North Carolina. The bottom of the ford equally as good as that of ford at Newport. The banks at ford are graded, and very good. The road leading from Newport and Parrottsville in the direction of North Carolina is very good.
Five hundred cavalry can at any time capture all the rebel force in Cocke County, and also a train of about 100 wagons, which is moving about in the county, collecting supplies. The rebel force in the county consists of about 100 cavalry, which is mainly employed in holding nightly carousals in Newport, under the guidance of one Rumbough, and about 100 infantry. Some of Longstreet's men straggling through the country, pillaging and nominally acting as a guard of the wagon train. The train is drawn by mules, which are in bad condition.
There are not to exceed 600 rebels between Cocke County and Asheville, N. C. They are partly infantry and partly cavalry, and are under Brigadier-General Vance, and stationed at Marshall, N. C. They refuse to enter Tennessee, being a sort of home guard.
Mr. Sneed's information is that the bridges are completed over the Holston, at Union or Zollicoffer, and also over the Watauga, this side of there.
General Alexander Smith and Equire James Swaggerty, citizens, of Cocke County, living 2 miles from Newport, are the instigators of outrages committed by the rebels in that county.
S. P. CARTER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, January 5, 1864.
Dispatch of 3rd received. Orders have already been given to dispatch clothing as fast as it arrives. If contractors can be relied on, the railroad will be completed to Chattanooga by the middle of next week. I can then put more boats on the river between here and Knoxville. Colonel Donaldson telegraphs me that he has sent a large quantity of subsistence stores to Carthage for Foster, and is ready to send stores to the mouth of the Big South Fork. He asks orders; will you give them to him?
GEO. H. THOMAS,