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HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,
Strawberry Plains, Tenn., January 1, 1864. Brig. Gen. M. D. MANSON,
Commanding Second Div., Twenty-third Army Corps : GENERAL: Your communications relative to the suffering of the troops of your command are received, and have been forwarded to headquarters Forces in the Field with earnest indorsement.
The suffering consequent upon the present severity of the weather touches me to the heart, and I am full of the deepest regret that no clothing can be at present obtained and that the subsistence stores are so scanty:
As to the latter, we have reason to expect partial relief at least within forty-eight hours. Some pork is to-day received by Lieutenant Rankin, acting commissary of subsistence, and the share of your command is either already issued or will be at once. Every available wagon on this side of the river is out after corn or other grain to grind, and I suppose the same is the case with yours.
I am hopeful that your communication with my indorsement will come before General Grant, who is understood to be at Knoxville, and will have the effect of showing the necessity of using the Chattanooga line fully, or giving to this army a share of the supplies forwarded there, instead of relying upon the Kentucky road.
I should have been over to visit your headquarters before this but for the great delay at the ferry, and the apparent necessity of using it for wagon transportation to its full capacity.
Accept my assurances of the most heartfelt sympathy with all your troubles, and with the sufferings of the brave men who are enduring such hardships with noble patience and patriotism. Believe me that every exertion is being made to supply their wants speedily and that I am hopeful that an early day in the new year will see such improvement that we shall be justified in calling it a happy one.
With the compliments of the season, I am, general, very sincerely, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX, Brigadier-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
January 1, 1864. Col. E. M. McCook,
Commanding First Division Cavalry: I have the honor of transmitting the following information given by Thomas Smith, of division scouts, obtained by a scout up the north side of Holston River and between Morristown and Russellville:
At Turley's Ford, 15 miles from Mossy Creek, on north side, are 5 men at a mill grinding and serving as pickets. Between the ford and Jonathan Noe's mills are posted two regiments of cavalry and three pieces of artillery planted at easy range of the ford. At Major Noe's ferry is one regiment of South Carolina infantry and two battalions of cavalry. General Longstreet's headquarters are at Russellville, 5 miles above Morristown, and his whole force between Russellville and Morristown, the left resting on Holston River, 4 miles from Morristown and 18 miles from Mossy Creek. His entire strength is 30,000 infantry and twenty-five pieces of artillery. They are under momentarily marching orders; intention, retreat through Bull's Gap. The army is in miserable condition, 50 per cent, barefooted ; provisions very scarce; go three or four days on one day's rations.
General Buckner's command is at Rheatown, 11 miles from Morristown, on the railroad; has thrown up temporary line of breastworks; has re-enforced the cavalry in our front with two brigades of infantry and battery of artillery.
Zollicoffer bridge is completed, and have just commenced the bridge at Carter's Depot. One brigade of infantry and battery of artillery sent to guard gap at Paint Rock. The enemy's pickets can be seen from north side of Holston River. I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. MILLER, Lieutenant, Commanding Scouts.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
January 2, 1864. Respectfully forwarded for the information of the general commanding
The information with regard to the position of the enemy's force along Holston River the scout gained by personal observation; the rest of the information was communicated by rebel pickets, who supposed him to be one of their soldiers.
E. M. McCOOK, Colonel, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CORPS,
Lookout Valley, Tenn., January 1, 1864. Brig. Gen. M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army: On the morning of your departure from Lookout you may remember a brief conversation we held in regard to Muscle Shoals. Subjoined is all the information I have on the subject, and which I believe you will find to be authentic:
Muscle Shoals is an extensive series of rapids, the water on which rises 1 inch when it rises 1 foot at Bridgeport, and in that proportion 1 inch there to 1 foot here. The rapids are 20 miles long, fall 100 feet. In 1830 the citizens of Tuscumbia originated the old Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad, 45 miles long, around the shoals. This road was completed in 1834, and in 1852 was incorporated in the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The head of, or rather foot of, navigation from here is Brown's Ferry, 12 miles below Decatur, which is 83 miles from Stevenson by railroad. A canal was once built around the shoals, but it has been abandoned, and has fallen into disuse, if, indeed, it ever was of much use.
From the foregoing it appears that the rapids are about 20 miles long, and that they have been turned by a canal on the north bank, which would indicate, in case it should not be deemed advisable to repair it, that its banks would admit of the ready construction of a railroad. The most detailed map I have examined, the official one of the State of Alabama, also warrants this conclusion. I can see no mount
ains or rivers of importance to cross. Probably one-half the labor already expended on either of the railroads leading from Nashville to Stevenson would make a good rail track along the canal. This, however, can be ascertained precisely by an examination of a day or two by a competent engineer. With a portage then over the shoals, why should not this be our line of communication? It has suggested itself to me that by the use of the river Chattanooga might be made to hold the relation to this army that Nashville now does, and certainly where we are, in a country traversed by guerrillas, it must be easier to hold and less liable to accidents. At all events it appears to me that it is well worthy of your consideration. The capacity of the Nashville and Chattanooga road is insufficient to supply our wants. It is therefore necessary to make use of the one, via Decatur, and it is certainly an easier task to protect the river than either one of them. The difference in the expense of transportation of our supplies must be enormous. Very respectfully,
JOSEPH HOOKER, Major-General, Commanding.
January 1, 1861–3.15 P. m. Major-General LOGAN,
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, Bridgeport: When can you relieve General Crook's troops at Huntsville ? Crook's men should join him immediately at Pulaski.
WM. SOOY SMITH, Brig. Gen., Chief of Cavalry, Division of the Mississippi.
STEVENSON, January 1, 1861–2.30 p. m. Lieut. Col. C.F. MORSE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General: Your dispatch received at 2 p. m. Under orders from brigade headquarters I started five companies this morning. I have not been relieved by any forces, and have a very inadequate force for the duties here. Those five companies can be turned back by a telegram to that effect sent to Anderson forth with if you desire.
WM. B. WOOSTER, Lieutenant-Colonel Twentieth Connecticut.
MEMPHIS, January 1, 1864. Col. E. PRINCE,
La Grange: Colonel Trafton should have reached La Grange last night or early this morning. If he has not returned you will send out patrol and order him in. He was last heard from at Hudsonville. Answer.
B. H. GRIERSON,
January 1, 1864. Maj. D. E. Coon,
Collierville, Tenn.: You will send 100 men of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, to start at early daylight to-morrow morning, south by the way of Olive Branch, toward Hernando, going as far as that point if practicable, sweeping round to Memphis. Send a good officer in command to obtain all possible information of the whereabouts and movements of the enemy, reporting promptly by courier if any force should be met.
B. H. GRIERSON,
January 1, 1864. Col. J. K. MIZNER,
La Grange, Tenn.: You will leave the First Alabama at Corinth, the Sixth Tennessee at Saulsbury, and select a good camping-ground for the rest of your brigade at La Grange. Trains have been ordered and will report to you for the purpose of making the changes. You will move the camp and garrison equipage of the Third Michigan, Third Illinois, and Seventh Kansas to La Grange.
B. H. GRIERSON,
Brigadier-General. MEMPHIS, TENN.,
January 1, 1864. Maj. C. W. WHITSIT,
Germantown: Withdraw the force at Olive Branch this evening, sending me any information they may have obtained.
B. H. GRIERSON,
HDQRS. FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Scotts'orough, Ala., January 1, 1864. The following changes and additions are hereby made on the staff of the major-general commanding, and will be respected accordingly:
I. Lieut. Col. J. H. Hammond, assistant adjutant-general, U. S. Volunteers, is hereby relieved from active duty in the assistant adjutant-general's office, but will continue on duty as chief of staff.
II. Maj. Robert R. Townes, assistant adjutant-general, U. S. Volunteers, is hereby relieved from duty as judge-advocate, and assigned to active duty in the assistant adjutant-general's office. All reports, returns, &c., required by existing orders and regulations, will in future be addressed to him.
III. Maj. Loyd Wheaton, Eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, is hereby announced as senior aide-de-camp in the field, acting judge-advocate, and provost-marshal.
IV. Surg. Edward O. F. Roler, Fifty-fifth Regiment Illinois In. fantry, is hereby announced as medical inspector. By command of Maj. Gen. John A. Logan:
R. R. TOWNES, Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY,
Camp Nelson, January 1, 1864. I. Brig. Gen. S. S. Fry, U. S. Volunteers, is ordered to assume command of the following troops and place them in marching condition and march with them to Knoxville, East Tenn., and report to Maj. Gen. J. G. Foster, commanding Army of the Ohio, to wit:
Ninth New Hampshire Volunteers, Colonel Titus; Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry Volunteers, Colonel Miller; Tenth Michigan Cavalry Volunteers, Colonel Foote; six companies First Ohio Heavy Artillery, Major Matthews; First East Tennessee Heavy Artillery, Colonel Crawford; Twenty-second Indiana Battery, Captain Denning,
II. Brigadier-General Fry is ordered to hasten the equipment and preparation of these forces for the march and move them at the earliest practicable moment, and report to Major-General Foster, at Knoxville, Tenn., with his command, at the earliest date. General Fry will march with as many day's rations as can be carried, not less than ten days, and with full supply of ammunition.
By command of Brig. Gen. J. T. Boyle:
A. C. SEMPLE. Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS FORCES IN THE FIELD,
January 2, 1861–9
Commanding Twenty-third Corps :
I telegraphed that it would take three days to cross Hascall's division, but that Manson's could be moved at once to Dandridge, but I have received no reply. This telegram seems to indicate that General Hascall's division should go. I wish you to order the movement. I don't see how we can improve the crossing, and ferrying on this frail boat is a slow operation.
Let a regiment at a time be crossed and encamped until the division is over.
Probably General Hascall can make use of the pontoons in crossing his command. Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
JNO. G. PARKE,
KNOXVILLE, January 1, 1864. General PARKE:
General Sturgis desires that a division may be sent to Dandridge, with a good officer like General Hascall in command, to intrench itself there. Please to send it at once. I think also of sending the pontoon bridge there as soon as rope for rock lashings and cables can be obtained. Instruct the general in command to notify you if the rope can be obtained at Dandridge. We come up to-morrow morning.
JNO. G. FOSTER,