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The Situation in that Section -- the 9th Army Corps en route for the East -- Deplorable Situation of the People of East Tennessee -- Interesting Details of Events Transpiring in and about Knoxville.

From East Tennessee

By a gentleman from Knoxville directly we have news of an important nature up to the 26th:

The rebels are still in strong force in East Tennessee, and at least 12,000 men under Buckner are mounted. On the 25th a large number of rebel cavalry came within sight of Morristown, driving in our pickets and a number of citizens.

The bulk of the rebel force is at Greenville [sic], with a brigade of cavalry at Newport. There are 2,000 infantry between Bull's Gap and Blue Springs.

This gentleman says that the rebels are committing the most unheard of depredations, robbing everybody of horses and the necessaries of life.

The are also enforcing the conscript law upon all classes physically capable of enduring life in the field. He says "Things are in a most deplorable state. Men, women and children are ragged, and dirty, and half starved. The people of East Tennessee cannot possibly live through the summer, as there is nothing to eat. Money is more plenty than it was but there is little use for it, as there is nothing to buy. I cannot select language to describe the distress and ruin which daily presents itself."

The gentleman also writes: Joseph Powell, Esq., went home some weeks since. He was arrested and sent to Richmond. Also, Alexander Jones has been sent to the same place. -- Old Abe Thompson is cutting up a high hand -- manufacturing bad whiskey, and having all those whom he knows to be Union men caught and robbed, at least, and the Lord only knows what becomes of some of them. Whether they are [original torn] to terminate their existence by slow deaths, is not known. Sure it is that many disappear and do not return. We sent out a flag of truce a few days ago. Geo. Jones' wife and a few others were sent through the lines."

Our informant concludes thus: "There is no telling when our army will occupy Greenville [sic]. A great many farmers in the neighborhood of Knoxville, Morristown, Strawberry Plains, and all along the line of the railroad from Lenoirs [sic] to Cleveland, are putting in seed, and some, will no doubt make large crops. The great bridge at Loudon, which was to have been finished last week, was completely wrecked by the last rise in the river. The health of the army is excellent."

We learn from a detachment of the Ninth Army Corps that reached this place last evening, that the corps had received five days rations at Jacksboro, at the foot of the mountains, some forty miles distant from Knoxville, (and all in good spirits), preparatory to crossing the mountains.

The corps would have been paid off had there been time; as the paymaster had arrived with the "needful," but Gen. Wilcox, agreeable to orders, had to strike tents and march. They expect to reach Cincinnati about the 5th of April, no small march for so large a body of men. The troops have been on duty all the time, particularly the 79th New York Highlanders, who held Fort Saunders [sic] during the siege, a regiment which has done hard service since the commencement of the war. Our citizens will remember them as the first New York regiment which came into this department a year ago, and their achievements in Kentucky, and their withdrawal to Mississippi, and the part they took in the capture of Vicksburg, and their return to Kentucky, and march across the mountains, together with their reverses and successes until they reached Knoxville, when they, with Benjamin's Battery, manned by the men of the regiment, took their positions in Fort Saunders, and on the memorable morning of the assault; assisted in checking the advance of the veterans of Longstreet's corps, which relieved Knoxville and gave the Union sentiment a breathing spell. -- Nashville Times.

Source: Chattanooga (TN) Daily Gazette, Saturday, April 02, 1864

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