HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Russellville, E. Tenn., January 23, 1864.
Brigadier General JOHN C. VAUGHN,
I am in receipt of your note of 3 o'clock to-day, together with that of Major Day.
I have no further orders for you except to repeat the desire of the commanding general that you will, after a careful examination of your means and the difficulties to be overcome, make an effort against Cumberland Gap if you think it practicable to take it. It might be captured by a surprise. Let me hear from you, however, before you undertake any movement. I hope for every success for Major Day. He must not, however, get alarmed at the report of the enemy's numbers. He has picked men, and ought to be equal to anything he may encounter.
I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
G. M. SORREL,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HAMBURG, FRANKLIN COUNTY, MISS.,
January 23, 1864. (Received 24th.)
Colonel THOMAS M. JACK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Meridian:
The enemy confined himself closely to his fortifications at Baton Rouge and Port Hudson and sleeping on his arms in constant expectation of an attack. I moved my command to the Mississippi River above Bayou Sara and watched four days and nights for his transports, but none passed. I have to-day two strong detachments secretly posted near Natchez, with the view of catching foraging and marauding parties of enemy's cavalry, and with remainder of my force am going to Rodney, in the vicinity of which Ellet's Marine Brigade are doing much damage. Reliable information received from Natchez that an expedition is preparing at Vicksburg to destroy Central Railroad, the attack to be made at Canton. A large party of sappers and miners left Natchez Thursday for that purpose, to report at Vicksburg. Shall threaten Natchez to-morrow to delay expedition of General Gresham's brigade, which is to join this expedition.
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Dalton, January 23, 1864.
Troops now re-enlisting for the war will, when mustered into service, be entitled to and receive all the bounties and privileges granted by Congress in any subsequent legislation to those who may thereafter re-enlist.
By command of General Johnston:
GEORGE WM. BRENT,