It appears that Gen. Burnside, near Knoxville with the Army of the Ohio, is being threatened by troops detached from Lee’s army in Virginia. We must break the siege of Chattanooga in order to be free to send troops to his aid. He writes,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Loudon, Tennessee, October 25, 1863-11.30 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Evidence still seems to indicate that the enemy are concentrated in considerable force on the south side of the river. We can easily give up this place and take up the bridge, but it seems advisable to hold it, and not release the enemy’s force to join the army in front of Thomas. Information from General Shackelford on our left seems to corroborate the report of considerable concentration by the enemy in the neighborhood of Abingdon.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
CHATTANOOGA, October 26, 1863-2 p. m.
Have you indications of a force coming from Lee’s army by way of Abingdon toward you? Do you hear of any of Bragg’s troops threatening you from the southwest? Thomas’ command is in bad condition to move, for want of animals of sufficient strength to move his artillery, and for want of subsistence. If you are threatened with a force beyond what you can compete with, efforts must be made to assist you. Answer.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 325
O.R., I, xxxi, part 1, p 729-30, 745