essential to the service, but any suggestion from you will be considered and carried out so far as the service and the proper administration of the War Department will admit.
Fifth. Your proposed use of the railroad is approved, and the Department will contribute every aid and confidence within its power for the success of your operations.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
E. D. TOWNSEND,
KNOXVILLE, March 25, 1864-4 p. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
Late information, which seems reliable, indicates that the enemy is again falling back toward Virginia, a small force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery being left at Bull's Gap. The cavalry has for some time been preparing for a long march; it may be for a raid into Kentucky, though that seems impossible at this season. Most probably it is going to Virginia or Georgia. Artillery and baggage are being sent back by railroad. I do not believe Longstreet himself has returned from Richmond.
JNO. M. SCHOFIELD,
March 25, 1864.
The following message was received this morning:
MOSSY CREEK, March 25, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
Lieutenant Country [?], Sixteenth Battalion Georgia Cavalry, left Bull's Gap night before last, 10 p. m.; reports the infantry encamped about 2 miles beyond the gap, 1 miles to the left of the railroad on the Sanpp's Ferry road; does not know where the cavalry are stationed; the cavalry pickets are 1 miles this side of the gap. Giltner's brigade of cavalry are ordered to move this morning for Carter and Johnson counties. Brigade consists of Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, Tenth Kentucky Mounted Infantry, Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, and Second [First] Tennessee Cavalry (Carter's); also Sixteenth Georgia Battalion Cavalry. Rucker's Legion left for Rogersville last Friday. General Vaughn's cavalry brigade left at same for Big Creek, about rogersville. Giltner's brigade ordered to reach Jonesborough to-night; have their horses well shod and carry an extra pair of shoes with them. General Longstreet's headquarters are removed to Jonesborough. They have but one small battery of four guns at the gap; the others were sent up the road on the cars. There is but one regiment of cavalry at the gap-Virginia regiment. Rucker's Legion for some time past have carried a black flag. Joanna Eastef and Cynthia Brockville left Rogersville yesterday morning on the railroad train and came down to Bull's Gap; from there in a wagon to Russellville, and from there on foot; state that nearly all the army of Longstreet has not been this side of Bristol since he went to Richmond. Some troops still at Greeneville but leaving for the north. Every ar baggage being sent north. Conductor said that the thought the railroad train would not come down to Bull's Gap after to-morrow.
Major-General, Commanding Corps.
J. D. COX,
Chief of Staff.
(Copy of General Wood.)