The Fourth Corps is ordered to hold Kingston, Loudon, and half of the railroad line to this place, with a brigade at Maryville to collect supplies. Sheridan's division is at Loudon, where he will push the work on the railroad bridge with a view to the opening of that line to Chattanooga. The bridge will be compeled in thirty days if no interruption occurs. Please to honor any requisition for tools, nails, spikes, &c., which Sheridan may send to you, to save time. I hope you will be able to put the low portion of the road in running order and to rebuild the bridge at Hiwassee by the time the bridge at Loudon is completed.
J. G. FOSTER,
CHATTANOOGA, January 24, 1864 - 3 p. m.
Can you not now organize a cavalry force to work its way past Longstreet south of him, to get into his rear and destroy railroad and transportation, or cannot Willcox do this from the north? Either this should be done or battle given where Longstreet now is. Let me know what you think about this.
U. S. GRANT,
January 24, 1864 - 7.30 p. m.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Facilities will be given you for getting supplies, either by transferring boats to your quartermaster or having them used for your benefit. Move forward and attack Longstreet as soon as you can, and if more troops are required send to me for them.
Do you think it practicable to collect Willcox's forces and move them by Jonesville to Abingdon? If they cold destroy the road from Abingdon to Saltville it would be worth taking a feat risk.
U. S. GRANT,
CHATTANOOGA, January 24, 1864.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
Should the advance of Longstreet upon Knoxville make re-enforcements to Foster necessary, send the remainder of the Fourth Corps, except artillery. I do not deem more artillery necessary under any circumstances, unless you should deem it advisable as safeguard whilst on the march. Should the exigencies of Foster's position make more re-enforcements necessary send such of the troops as you can spare.
In case you are called on for troops to go into East Tennessee I wish you to take the command in person, and on arrival at Knoxville to take command of all the forces.
The condition Foster is now in makes it impossible for him to take the field. In justice to himself, and as I want Longstreet routed and
13 R R-VOL XXXII, PT II