December 8, 1863: Sherman, don’t leave east Tennessee yet

William Tecumseh Sherman

Sherman’s advance has forced Longstreet to retreat from Knoxville, but Grant’s concerned that he might return with reinforcements. Grant advises Sherman to hang around a while, and promises to supply him in the meantime.


Official Record:


KNOXVILLE, December 8, 1863.

General GRANT:

I leave Granger at Knoxville, and with my command start to-morrow for the Hiwassee.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

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CHATTANOOGA, December 8, 1863-5.30 p.m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Knoxville, Tennessee:

Keep your troops in the valley of Upper Tennessee until it seems clear that the enemy has entirely abandoned the State. It may be possible that Longstreet may be re-enforced about Bristol and return. Two boats unloaded rations near Kingston, and more will be sent in a day or two. Two more boats will ge running in a few days, when we will be able to feed your army to a great extent from here.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

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CHATTANOOGA, December 8, 1863-6 p.m.

(Received 11 p.m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

May it not be possible that Lee will re-enforce 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.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

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