probably at Panther Springs. (My own opinion.) All the infantry had built huts and were in winter quarters. General Longstreet's headquarters were at Russellville.
Supplies: Latterly the men were getting plenty of flour and fresh beef. Brown and Cox's Mill on Holston, 4 1/2 miles from Russellville, Rader's steam-mill, 18 miles from Russellville and 9 miles from Bull's Gap, near Howard's Gap, and other mills were being run for the army. Most of the cattle were brought from Cocke County, between French Broad and Nola Chucky. Forage was hauled from this side of Nola Chucky and French Broad; it was exhausted on other side of Nola Chucky. Wagon trains were run from Zollicoffer bridge with salt and expected to bring clothing. No clothing had arrived yet. Rations of salt were still very limited. Bridge at Zollicoffer and over Watauga were not yet finished.
One of these deserters has his stockings on the ground and says two-thirds of the men of his regiment are worse off than himself, and that his regiment is no worse off than the rest of the brigades, divisions, or the army. The men flock to the cattle-pens to get moccasins of the hides whenever the butchers kill, and the hides are not allowed to get cold. They think, however, that it will not be long before the army is pretty well shod, as they have all the tanneries at work throughout the country, and two wagons from each brigade were started to Zollicoffer last Saturday after clothing and shoes.
General information: These men say that the universal talk among officers, from colonel down, and the men, was that they would have to fall back to Bristol. The major commanding Eighteenth Mississippi would not build winter quarters for himself, and told one of these deserters that he did not think it worth while, as he did not believe they would stay there a week. This was also to the general impression among the troops. There was no talk about retreating by the Warm Springs road to North Carolina. Bristol was the contemplated to be fit for duty, not the rest of Longstreet's army, and that if they are energetically pressed they can be ruined.
The President's proclamation was published in Raleigh Register and in Richmond Enquirer, and was well known to all their men. Ammunition was abundant. When Longstreet's army recrossed the Holston, retiring from Bean's Station, they crossed in one ferry-boat, occupying a week. One wagon and 30 men crossed at a time. This was at Long's Ferry. Some of the wagons forded at about 6 miles above Brown and Cox's Mill.
A citizen named Kaufman, who left Jonesborough last Wednesday morning, also came to my camp this morning. He had placed a substitute in the army, for whom he paid $4,000, and had run away to avoid conscription under the new law. He says a large number of both loyal and disloyal citizens in that vicinity are talking about running away to our lines by the mountain route to avoid conscription. He crossed the Nola Chucky at the "new bridge" and forded the French Broad at Newport yesterday morning. There was a provost-marshal at Jonesborough and about a dozen men. No troops at Greeneville; 60 cavalry at Newport and 75 at "Jacks" (3 miles this side of N.). He met a few wagons coming from Parrottsville with flour toward Russellville. Zollicoffer and Watauga bridges not finished. Longstreet's army in winter quarters at Morristown and Russellville.