HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, THIRD DIV., FOURTH CORPS, Lenoir's, January 28, 1864.
Fourth Corps, Loudon:
SIR: The re-enlisted men as veterans being about to leave for furlough and weakening greatly the strength of the command here, I have thought proper to suggest that one of the regiments now posted on the road toward Knoxville be brought here, leaving half a regiment at each of the stations, Campbell's an Clinton road.
They now have stockades a boat of those places, and probably a battalion at each place will be ample.
I am, respectfully,
W. B. HAZEN,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS, January 30, 1864.
The suggestion of General Hazen is approved and will be carried into effect.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE CLINCH, Cumberland Gap, Tenn., january 28, 1864.
Brigadier General EDWARD E. POTTER,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 25th instant, in regard to General Grant requesting General Foster to send an expedition under command to Abingdon,by way of Jonesville, with the view, if possible, of destroying the road between Abingdon and Saltville, Va., &c., the undertaking of which expedition you were kind enough to leave in a great measure to my discretion.
Availing myself of that discretion, I take the liberty to state that there are tow reasons why the expedition should not be made at this time: First, the mounted force in this command numbers less than 800, with exceedingly poor horses (the report received from the various commands in this district up to this time have been so very incomplete that it is impossible to obtain correct information as to the number of horses), many of which would give out in one day's ride. Second, there is not at this time one day's supply of bread or meat in the commissary department here, and to rely upon the chances for obtaining supplies by foraging on the route would be too uncertain; and besides this, I find the troops here in this command to be but little more than a mob. Not a day passes but that citizens complain of their houses having been broken open and their meat and other articles robbed, of which the extreme scarcity of rations (men are receiving only one-fourth rations) is to some extent the cause; and though I am using the necessary precaution of sending officers with all foraging parties the evil does not appear to lessen.
Should we get supplies (and the cavalry could be sifted so as to leave inferior horses behind) I know of nothing to prevent the ex-