If you feel satisfied, upon consulation with General Shackelford, that the enemy is advancing [in] force, you will fall back with the entire infantry force and baggage trains to Bull's Gap and the main body of the cavalry at Blue Springs, leaving a strong advance at Greenville. If you cavalry are compelld to fall back beyond Lick Creek bridge you will not fail to destroy it entirely. You can notify Colonel Smith, of North Carolina regiment, so that he may be on his guard or pass down the south side of the Holston*.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
The operator at Morristown has just informed me that the rebels are reported nine miles from Morristown on the Cumberland Gap road, destroying the line. Will hearn from there soon and will advise you.
G. E. JONES,
OCTOBER 28, 1863.
SIR: I was near Kingsport on the 26th instant and I heard by various persons that there regiments of rebels at or near Kingsport. I also saw two men who had been arrested by them and they could not give me any definite statements of their numbers. I think there could not be more than 500 there on a stealing expedition.
J. H. MILLER,
HEADQUARTERS POINEER BRIGADE,
Shellmound, October 28, 1863-7.20 a. m.
Brigadier General W. F. SMITH:
The pontoon bridge at this place is constructed and has been since daylight. I sent off them telegram at 1.30 o'clock this morning apprising you it was then practicable for infantry and would be for artillery by daylight, but as I have just learned the dispatch did not reach the office. The officer to blame is Captain Penn, Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, who sent me receipt and promised to forward it.
J. ST. C. MORTON,
OFFICE CHIEF ENGINEER,
October 28, 1863.
General Thomas has seen this dispatch and General Reynolds advised me to forward it to you.
* See also Willcox to Burnside, VOL. XXXI, Part I, p. 771.