River Valley to Cumberland Gap, and thence by the way of Jonesville, Stickleyville, and Estillville to Carter's Depot, on the Watauga, and Union or Zollicoffer on the Holston. You will endeavor to destroy the bridges at these points; succeeding or failing in this, you will march on Abingdon, destroying the brigades and railroad on your way; thence you will proceed to Saltville, and attempt to destroy the salt-works at that place. Whether successful or not in this effort, you will strike off to the westward, cross the Clinch Mountains and Cumberland Range at the most convenient gap, and await further orders in Kentucky. Should your progress be arrested at any time by a superior force, rendering it impossible to carry out these instructions, you will make the best of your way into Kentucky. You will perceive that this is an undertaking of considerable risk, but the results to be gained warrant the enterprise. If you have no officer in whom you have sufficient confidence to intrust him with this important command, you will yourself take charge of the expedition.
The remainder of the Cavalry Corps will be left on the south side of the Holston and French Broad, to hold the enemy's cavalry in check.
I inclose a list of the fords on the Holston between Knoxville and Kingston.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWARD E. POTTER,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, Tuckalechee Cove, January 30, 1864.
Colonel E. M. McCOOK,
Commanding Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland:
COLONEL: You will move your command on the road to Maryville at 6 a. m. to-morrow. Cause your command to be provided with one day's forage. Colonel Wolford will move as soon as you are out of the way, and Colonel Garrard will bring up the rear.
By order of Brigadier-General Sturgis:
WM. C. RAWOLLE,
Captain, A. D. C., and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
WASHINGTON, January 30, 1864-11.30 a. m.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
Probably Johnston's detachments is made to counteract Sherman's movements, as I presume no immediate attack on Mobile is expected. Brigadier General K. Garrard, late chief of Cavalry Bureau, as been ordered to report to you for duty. What is it about the evacuation and burning of Corinth?
H. W. HALLECK,
*List not found.