“If Burnside holds out a short time he will be relieved”

I wrote Gen. Halleck to notify him that Sherman is off to relieve Burnside,

CHATTANOOGA, November 29, 1863-8 p.m. (Received 10.30 p.m.)

Maj. General H. W. HALLECK,


The Fourth Corps started yesterday for relief of Burnside. Sherman was sent to the Hiwasee, and I have sent orders to him to take command of the whole, and organize a sufficient force for the object to be a accomplished, and send the remainder of the troops here. I made this change, knowing Sherman’s promptness and ability. If Burnside holds out a short time he will be relieved. Should Longstreet succeed in capturing Knoxville, he himself will be captured, I think.


Major-General, Commanding.

I wrote Burnside,

CHATTANOOGA, November 29, 1863.

Maj. General A. E. BURNSIDE,

Knoxville, Tennessee:

I congratulate you on the tenacity with which you have thus far held out against vastly superior forces. Do not be forced into a surrender by short rations. Take all the citizens have to enable you to hold out yet a few days longer. As soon as you are relieved from the presence of the enemy, you can replace to them everything taken from them.

Within a few days you will be relieved. There are now three columns in motion for your relief-one from here moving up the south bank of the river under Sherman, one from Decherd under Elliott, and one from Cumberland Gap under Foster.

These three columns will be able to crush Longstreet’s forces or drive them from the valley, and must all of them be within twenty-four hours’ march of you by the time this reaches you, supposing you to get it on Tuesday, the 1st instant.




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 464-5

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 270, 273