BULL'S GAP, April 24, 1864.
Your second dispatch received, and orders given accordingly. Manson cannot get back here before Wednesday and do any work. By getting rid of the sick and of the baggage, I will answer for moving the whole division together faster than it could go divided.
J. D. COX,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Division.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,
Bull's Gap, Tenn., April 24, 1864.
Brigadier General M. D. MANSON,
Commanding Second Brigade, Greeneville:
GENERAL: Since you left this morning I have received a dispatch from General Schofield, directing that after destroying the Watauga bridge the cavalry join you, destroying all others, and as much of the track as possible by bending the rails and burning the ties, &c. From Jonesborough you may commence working this way, putting your men systematically at it, and doing the business thoroughly. I will myself begin at Lick Creek and work toward you. Communicate by sure messenger with Lieutenant-Colonel Trowbridge, and inform him that his instructions are modified as above. Time is important, and we will not delay to see what the enemy may do, but do the work ourselves. Let your officers and men use their ingenuity to discover rapid means of rendering the rails useless, as this is the most important thing. Leave no bridges, but if you have not time to destroy all the rails continuously it will be better to do it at intervals rather than all at one point. In this event begin at a bridge or trestle, and destroy this way as far as time will permit, and then pass to the next. Keep an accurate account of what is done, so that an exact report may be made.
While this is going on let small parties watch your flanks so that you may not be suprised. The Tenth Michigan Cavalry will remain with you, but send back the Third Indiana, as soon as they report to you after destroying Watauga bridge. Order these last to report to me at First Brigade headquarters on the road.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COY,
MOSSY CREEK, April 24, 1864.
Your dispatch ordering me to move my brigade to Bull's Gap as soon as possible I have just received. I judge it was started this morning, as you thought I might reach Morristown to-day. By some neglect somewhere I have only just received it. My transportation is out on a foraging expedition to Dandridge and will return to-morrow. If there is any emergency I will march the men at the earliest moment; if not, would prefer to have my transportation along. Please answer.
MILO S. HASCALL,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.