HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, Maryville, January 31, 1864-10 p. m.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Department, Knoxville:
GENERAL: I reached this place with most of my command this evening.
This morning I detached the Fourteenth Illinois to go up into the corner of North Carolina and destroy a camp of Indians and whites (rebels), who are a terror to the loyal people both there and through Sevier County. I left Colonel Garrard some 10 miles back with the balance of his brigade to see that no rebel troops followed the detachment and to guard this front in that direction.
I send Captain Rawolle to Knoxville, in order that you may be enabled to obtain reliable and intelligent information in regard to my movement and its necessity, and of the condition of things generally in the vicinity of Sevierville and Dandridge.
Orders had been issued for my command to move in the morning to the Little Tennessee when General Willich sent me a paper from you, indicating a forward move. With this information before me I have thought it best to remain; have informed the general that I will do so he desires it, or agrees with me as to the propriety of doing so.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. D. STURGIS,
HEADQUARTERS, Tuckaleechee Cove, January 31, 1864.
General E. E. POTTER,
Chief of Staff, Knoxville:
GENERAL: We have been marched slowly to this place, resting and feeding our worn-down animals, and to-day will reach Maryville. I would respectfully suggest the necessity of being ready both at Knoxville and at Maryville, in case Longstreet's force advances. It is understood generally among the people that he intends by rapid marching to fall on the Fourth Corps and destroy it (to use their own expressions).
There is no doubt but the enemy has infantry and cavalry both at Sevierville now; in what force I cannot say, but it is not to be despised. The infantry which crossed the river against us appeared to have happened to meet us on their march, [more] than to have ben sent to Dandridge to operate against. They were well clothed and shod and equipped for traveling.
A scout which I had sent out returned yesterday morning and reported a large camp of infantry and cavalry between Sevierville and McNutt's Bridge. All the information I have received since only goes to confirm this.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
S. D. STURGIS,
18 R R-VOL XXII, PT II