With some of our force headed towards Knoxville to the relief of Burnside, we must not become too scattered. I wrote Gen. Hooker,
GRAYSVILLE, GA., November 28, 1863.
Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,
Commanding Right Wing, Army in the Field:
General Sherman will start with his force for Loudon, leaving to-morrow morning. You will remain where you are during the 29th and 30th, or advance toward Dalton, if you find it practicable to do so without a battle. Should you be able to get a force into Dalton, destroy all materials that might be used in the support of an army.
The object in remaining where you are is to protect Sherman’s flank while he is moving toward Cleveland and Loudon. If, therefore, you should become satisfied that a force of the enemy move up the Dalton and Cleveland road, you will either attack them or move into Dalton behind them after they have passed, as you may regard most favorable.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 460
O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 48