War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0576 KY., SW.VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIV.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

Russellville, Tenn., January 19, 1864.

Colonel J. M. CORNS,

Commanding Cavalry Brigade:

I am gratified to be able to announce to you quite a handsome affair with the enemy near Tazewell. Major George W. Day, commanding a detachment of 100 cavalry, attacked at daylight this morning a force of 150 of the enemy at Big Spring; killed and wounded 6, captured 3 lieutenants and 64 privates, 50 stand of arms, 70 horses, and 6 wagons and an ambulance. I am directed by the lieutenant-general commanding to say that if you keep on the watch and are active and enterprising, you may be able to pick up quite a number of the enemy above you. Our own fighting with the enemy has terminated. We skirmished lightly with him for two days, supporting our cavalry with about 2,000 infantry, and got a good position about dark on the 17th, after a brisk skirmish. During that night the enemy retreated precipitately and is now supposed to be in full flight for Knoxville. Our cavalry is in close pursuit of them.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

G. M. SORREL,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

Russellville, January 19, 1864-1 p.m.

Major General W. T. MARTIN,

Commanding Cavalry:

I am just in receipt of your note of this morning. Colonel Carter is still under your orders, having been only temporarily placed under the command of General Wofford, as he was separated from you. The commanding general directs me to say that you considerations in reference to your picket lines must be left until you have ceased to pursue the enemy. He is evidently in full flight and must be vigorously and closely followed. The commanding general desires you to do so with your whole energy, and with all the force you can mount. You must follow him and harass him until you are stopped only by the strongest necessity. Cross the river after him if he should and give him no rest. If you find that you cannot do much on his rear, operate on his flank in the best manner you can. Use in your pursuit, if necessary, the last pound of forage that the country has rather than let the enemy escape unhurt.

The commanding general desires that you will keep him regularly and promptly advised. He may send down Jones' brigade to co-operate with you. He also desires that you will let him know how many saddles and bridles you have in camp out of use. With them he may mount some of the infantry on mules, and send them down in further co-operation with you.

I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

G. M. SORREL,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.