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Loudon Bridge, farther up the Tennessee; and a third, under Colonel Foster, for Knoxville, on the Holston River.
Bird and Foster reached their respective destinations on the first of September, without opposition, but when Shackelford approached Loudon, he found the Confederates there in considerable force, and strongly posted.
After a brisk skirmish, they were driven across the bridge — a magnificent structure, over two thousand feet in length — which they fired behind them, and so laid it in ruins.
The main army moved steadily forward, and was soon posted on the line of the railway from Loudon, southwesterly, so as to connect with Rosecrans, then in possession of Chattanooga.
General Simon B. Buckner was in command of about twenty thousand troops, in East Tennessee, with his Headquarters at Knoxville, when Rosecrans moved upon Bragg, and Burnside began his march.
To hold Chattanooga, as we have observed, was of vital importance to the Confederacy, and, as its fall would involv