to you his gratification, and to ask to make in his name the proper compliments to Colonel McCook and the officers of General Elliott's command.
He wishes me to inform you that the enemy have retreated from our front on this side of the river, and have recrossed the Holston, having yesterday captured on the Valley road about 5 1/2 miles from here 800 head of cattle. You will look out for and take care of any parties of the enemy you may hear of; push them vigorously, harassing them as much as possible with regard to your safety.
The Ninth and Twenty-third Army Corps are about going into winter quarters, guarding part of the railroad and the defenses of this place.
The Fourth Army Corps will have one division at Maryville, and will guard the fords of the Little Tennessee and Loudon, and the rest of the railroad, and the fords toward this place, and will build the bridge at Loudon, and will also go into winter quarters.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES H. STRONG,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.
January 23, 1864.
The enemy's cavalry have been pressing us for a few days, but as they found it impossible to subsist their horses, have this morning retired. I have ordered the cavalry to cross the river and they will subsist their horses south of the French Board River. You will push forward trains with commissary stores with all possible dispatch. The must be sent via Chitwood's to Kingston. I shall order one division of cavalry into Kentucky. Send no more horses or mules here, as it is impossible to forage them here. I shall send to the rear all empty wagons via Kingston. Captain Dickerson will have forage at Chitwood's. A herd of cattle sent via Blain's Cross-Roads, contrary to my orders, were captured yesterday by the enemy.
J. G. FOSTER,
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CORPS,
Lookout Valley, Tenn., January 23, 1864.
Commanding Eleventh Corps:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs me to say, in answer to your communication of this morning, that the picket force of 250 men now guarding the line across the valley, if posted so as to take advantage of all accidents of ground, the reserves properly stationed, and the men thoroughly instructed, should be able to repel any cavalry force that may come against them.
The general further directs me to state that there is a cavalry out post of one company of the Second Kentucky Cavalry stationed