GREENEVILLE, October 27, 1863.
I learne from Mr. Burke, who left a point seven miles this side Abingdon on Zollicoffer road on Friday afternoon, the position of rebels was as follows: The troops had all moved forward from Abingdon toward East Tennessee and were on several roads, viz, at the named on Zollicoffer road, General Ransom, who reviewed there on Thursday four regiments cavalry, twelve or thirteen pieces artillery. On the Bristol road half way to Abingdon is the principal part of the infantry, some eight or ten regiments, three or four regiments cavalry and a large number of guns, Burke thinks seventy-five pieces. This force is also under Ransom. On the North Fork of Holston, between Abington, Little Moccasin Gap, and Kingsport, a large force of cavalry under Williams between 3,000 and 4,000, Witcher's Corn's, Slemp's and Giltner's regiments among them. The whole force is under command of General W. E. Jones. The troops have been withdrawn from Western Virginia, &c. Jenkins' command is with them. Bruke is somewhat contradictory here. He said first that Williams was in command on Kingsport road, then that Jenkins was, then that Jenkins had not recovered from his wound at Gettysburg and was absent. Many troops, infantry and artillery, campe up the railway to Abington, but he thinks none are from Lee's army. The rebels estimate their forces at 18,000, Bruke estimates them at 15,000. I know nothing about Bruke. Says he is a North Carolinian, lived three years in Virgnia in Smyth County, left the country to bring out a son who was conscripted but was home on sick furlough. I will telegraph his report of rebel designes in cipher.
O. B. WILLOCX,
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Loundon, October 27, 1863.
Commanding Second Division, Ninth Army Corps:
COLONEL: You will break camp and start your trains on the road for Lenior's at 5 o'clock to-morrow morning (28th). Keep your infantry in line under cover from the opposite bank of the river, where they can stack arms and be used for fatigue duty in removing the bridge. Send an aide for orders at 6 to-morrow morning.
By command of Brigadier General R. B. Potter:
[31.] Assistant Adjutant-General.
LENIOR'S TENN., [October] 28, 1863.
You will hold yourself in readiness to fall back to Bull's Gap. Shackelford has been ordered to fall back to Greenville and report to you. If you fall back to Bull's Gap take your operator with you. Shackelford will bring his operator to Greenville and keep in communication with you.
A. E. BURNSIDE,