Chattanooga November 24th 1863
BRIG GENL O. B WILCOX
Telegraph General Boyle to make such disposition of his forces as may be necessary to guard your line of supplies. 1 Can you not now move a mounted force on Abingdon and Saltville? Fighting has been going on here for two days, and as soon as possible I shall send a force up the Valley sufficient to relieve Burnside, if he holds out. If you can communicate this fact to him, do so.
U S GRANT
Telegram, copies, DLC-USG, V, 34, 35; DNA, RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Letters Sent. O. R., I, xxxi, part 3, 240. On Nov. 25, 1863, 1:30 P. M., Brig. Gen. Orlando B. Willcox telegraphed to USG. "Your dispatch of yesterday received. I am making preparations for the mounted expedition towards Abington. Genl Burnside in His dispatch that I recd last night said I should place my Infy in striking distance of Cumberland Gap & send the cavalry down to Harrass the enemies left & rear the impassable state of Clinch river has hitherto prevented any occasion in that direction it is now falling & will be fordable tomorrow unless there should be another rain the stage of water at Clinch river in the Direction of Abington would have great influence in determining the success of the move on abington while my Cavalry preparations are continuing. I telegraph to please decide what line of operations I shall pursue. I have started a courier to Genl Burnside with your message & sent word to Him of the Abington expedition." Telegram received, DNA, RG 94, War Records Office, Dept. of the Tenn.; copy, ibid., RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxi, part 3, 247-48. On Nov. 26, 10:30 A. M., Willcox telegraphed to USG. "Another of my Couriers from Gen Burnside has just got in Tazewell from a house in the mountains where he lay concealed last night he learned from the family that the rebels where they had crossed the mountain went towards Rogersville This indicates rather a want of confidence in Longstreets success or a fear of movement in salt work. His dispatches from Gen. Burnside are on the way to me—" Telegram received, DNA, RG 94, War Records Office, Dept. of the Tenn.; copy, ibid., RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxi, part 3, 254. On Nov. 27, 11:30 A. M., Willcox telegraphed to USG. "In accordance with Gen Burnsides suggestion I have ordered the cavalry down toharass the enemys left & rear & sent a brigade of infantry to Tazewell—The rivers are fordable again No further news from Knoxville No trains have arrived here with subsistence—Troops & animals cannot subsist here from the rear in winter—News of Jones movement confiding [conflicting]—" Telegram received, DNA, RG 94, War Records Office, Dept. of