They report that the rebel infantry left there on Tuesday, the 23rd instant, going in the direction of Newport, by way of Fair Garden, and the enemy's cavalry Smoky Mountains into North Carolina. They could not ascertain that any forces [other] than cavalry crossed the mountains.
I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,
E. M. McCOOK,
KNOXVILLE, February 27, 1864
I have just learned that General Buckner is in command of the rear-all cavalry.
R. A. CRAWFORD,
Chief of Police.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, Tenn., February 27, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,
SIR: I have the honor to report generally the results of a recent inspection of that part of the Army of the Ohio in the vicinity of Knoxville, Tenn. The inspection was usually by brigade, under arms.
Ninth Army Corps: This command now consists of three small brigades. In one brigade the clothing is bad, in the other tolerable. Arms are generally in good condition and the appearance of the men fair, though probably worse than usual from the absence of veterans. Men have 40 rounds of ammunition, with a small reserve at division headquarters. This corps is commanded by Major-General Parke.
Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, Major-General Sheridan commanding; This division is stationed in the vicinity of Loudon, Of its three brigades two are in very good condition as regards arms, bearing, and drill, Colonel Harker's brigade deserving especial notice, and of the regiments in the brigade, the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio deserving notice for its drill and cleanness of arms. Clothing is not good in the division, some regiments being badly deficient. Division well supplied with ammunition.
Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, General T. J. Wood commanding: This command contains three brigades, which were inspected. Material is generally good, but appearance bad from bad clothing; many bad shoes and missing bayonets, one regiment alone having 114 men without bayonets. Battalion drill not good as a rule through the division, even in the commonest movements.
In both the Second and Third Divisions of this corps the records are generally far behind, and until within a few days no tri-monthly reports have been made for nearly three months. While there have been serious difficulties, from lack of records and movements without transportation, so long a delay is yet scarcely justifiable.