Chattanooga 5.30 P. M. 8th Dec '63
MAJOR GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN
Keep your troops in the valley of Upper Tennessee until it seems clear that the enemy have entirely abandoned the State. It may be possible that Longstreet may be reinforced about Bristol 1 and return. Two boats unloaded rations near Kingston and more will be sent in a day or two. Two more boats will be running in a few days, when we will be able to feed your Army to a great extent from here. 2
U. S. GRANT
Copies, DLC-USG, V, 34, 35; DNA, RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Letters Sent. O. R., I, xxxi, part 3, 356. On Dec. 8, 1863, 6:00 P. M., USG telegraphed to Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck. "May it not be possible that Lee will reinforce Longstreet about Bristol and return to Knoxville? I have sent Sherman orders to remain in the upper Valley until it is fully believed that it is clear of an enemy. It may prove difficult to feed a large Army there for any length of time" Telegram received, DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); copies, ibid., Telegrams Received in Cipher; (misdated Dec. 7) ibid., RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Hd. Qrs. Correspondence; DLC-USG, V, 40, 94. Dated Dec. 8 in O. R., I, xxxi, part 3, 356.
On Dec. 5, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, Maryville, Tenn., telegraphed to USG. "I put my cavalry into Knoxville during the night of Dec 3d My head of columns are now here in communication with Knoxville Enemy retreated last night moving eastward I have sent a staff officer to Burnside & by daylight will determine what to do Elliott is not up But Cav must pursue & harrass the rear We have relieved Knoxville & will soon decide what next A Stern Chase is a long one especially by my advance that have now marched five hundred miles" Telegram received, DNA, RG 94, War Records Office, Military Div. of the Miss.; copy, ibid., RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Telegrams Received. O. R., I, xxxi, part 3, 339. See ibid., I, xxxi, part 1, 262-63, 430-32; ibid., I, xxxi, part 2, 577-79. On Dec. 5, 11:00 P. M., Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson, Knoxville, telegraphed to USG. "I arrived here tonight having lef Shermans advance Two Divisions at Marysville sixteen miles distant and all the troops this side of the Little Tenn Granger Davis & Blair on the road from Morgantown to Marysville Howard on united road he having crossed at Davis Ferry we lost time in bridging the little Tennessee Genl Sherman having heard this P. M. of Longstreets retreat towards Bristol sent orders to stop the various columns He & Burnside will confer in the moring & adopt a policy It seems to be quite clear