with them yesterday I shall cross all the infantry of these two corps to the south side of the French broad to obtain food and forage to keep Longstreets foragers out of that section and also to threaten his flank" Telegram received, DNA, RG 393, Dept. of Mo., Telegrams Received; copy, ibid., Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxii, part 2, 116.
Nashville Jany 16th 12 30 a m 
MAJ GENL THOMAS
Longstreet is said to be marching towards Knoxville.
Enemy reinforced by one Div from Ewells Corps with another expected.
I have advised Foster to keep his force between Longstreet and you.
Should he be forced back south of the Tenn it may become necessary to reinforce him from your command.
In that case I would fill the place of troops taken away from Maj Genl W T Shermans Command
Send Foster all the provisions you can.
The question of provisions alone may decide the fate of East Tenn
Maj Genl GRANT
Telegram received, DNA, RG 94, Generals' Papers and Books, George H. Thomas ; copies, ibid., RG 393, Dept. of the Cumberland, Telegrams Received; ibid., Military Div. of the Miss., Letters Sent; DLC-USG, V, 34, 35. O. R., I, xxxii, part 2, 110. On Jan. 16, 1864, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas telegraphed to USG. "Your dispatch of 12. m. to day received. Will send all the provisions I can possibly spare without starving my own men. Will increase number of boats as soon as R. R. is in full operation Have given directions about repairing the Hiawassee & Loudon bridges." Copies, DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Cumberland, Telegrams Sent; ibid., Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxii, part 2, 110.
Also on Jan. 16, USG wrote to Bvt. Lt. Col. James L. Donaldson. "please let me know if the cars have yet been sent through to Chattanooga with supplies. If not give directions at once to have the trains go to that place direct, with such QuarterMaster's, Company and Ordnance stores as are needed for the troops on duty there and in the vicinity. The boats for Genl. Foster should be loaded at Chattanooga instead of at Bridgeport as heretofore," LS, DNA, RG 393, Dept.