Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 24, 1863 (Wednesday): "A straightforward kind of fellow..."

General Samuel D. Sturgis

New Market, Tennessee, December 24, 1863-2 a.m.
    GENERAL: My whole command reached this place this evening. From all the information I can gather, I have little doubt but the whole, or nearly so,of the enemy's cavalry are on this side of the Holston.
     Colonel Palmer has arrived from Dandridge with his command. He captured 4 prisoners of Morgan's division,who were a part of an advanced guard to Dandridge. From these and from citizen we learn that one brigade, and perhaps a division,is now at Dandridge. Armstrong,unless he moves to-night,is in the vicinity of Morristown, and a large force somewhere in the vicinity of Cheek's Cross-Roads. I propose to attempt the separation of the force at Dandridge from the remainder. I will move a brigade by Mount Horeb to intercept their retreat, and a brigade with four pieces of artillery on the direct road to Dandridge. These forces can reach their destination by daylight, I hope.
The brigade,or division, supposed to be at Dandridge has six pieces artillery, five rifled and one brass.
the prisoners say that the cavalry came over to intercept us,because it was understood that we contemplated a raid on Longstreet's rear.
     I talked with one-an Alabamian and straightforward kind of fellow-who says that last Friday Longstreet was joined by A. P. Hill's corps, and that what the men say through their camps is that Longstreet has now 50,000. I give you this for what it is worth.
     I think it would be well to send the dismounted men left by Colonel Wolford down to Strawberry Plains, taking their wagons with them, and they would serve as a guard for that place.

     S. D. STURGIS,
     Brigadier-General, Commanding Cavalry Corps.

Major General JOHN G. FOSTER.

P. S.-If the brigade of Colonel Wolford which went to Tazewell can be reached, I hope you will send it on at once. The colonel's whole division now here is only some 800 or 900 strong.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 31, Part 1, Page 626.

A great deal of misinformation was obtained from prisoners, some of it intentional and some founded on the all too human tendency to hold forth at length on subjects absent knowledge of the same.  A.P. Hill's division was nowhere near Tennessee and Longstreet had far fewer than 50,000 men to threaten Knoxville.  After Custer fell at the Little Big Horn, Sturgis succeeded him as commander of what was left of the 7th cavalry.  A Navy transport named for him carried many dignitaries to the signing of the peace treaty with Japan.

No comments:

Post a Comment