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[434] Crook estimate his loss during this raid at 2,000 men, mostly prisoners or deserters. Ours, mainly in prisoners, must have exceeded that number; while the Government property destroyed must have been worth millions of dollars. Roddy, who crossed1 the Tennessee at Guntersville, threatening Decherd, retreated on learning that Wheeler had done so, and escaped without loss.

Gen. Grant, having assumed2 at Louisville command of his new department, telegraphed, next day, to Gen. Thomas at Chattanooga to hold that place at all hazards, and was promptly answered, “I will hold on till we starve.” Famine, not fire, was the foe most dreaded by the Army of the Cumberland, though it had a pretty rough experience of both. Proceeding forthwith to Chattanooga, the new commander found3 Gen. Hooker's force concentrated at Bridgeport, preparing to argue with Bragg our claim to supply our forces at Chattanooga by means of the river and the highway along its bank, instead of sending every thing by wagons across the mountains on either side of the Sequatchie valley — a most laborious and difficult undertaking, which left our men on short rations and starved many of our horses. It is computed that no less than 10,000 horses were used up in this service, and that it would have been impossible, by reason of their exhaustion and the increasing badness of the roads caused by the Autumn rains, to have supplied our army a week longer.

Grant proceeded, the day after his arrival, accompanied by Thomas and Brig.-Gen. W. F. Smith, chief engineer, to examine the river below Chattanooga with reference to crossing. It was decided that Hooker should cross at Bridgeport with all the force he could muster, advancing directly to Wauhatchie in Lookout valley, menacing Bragg with a flank attack. So much was to be observed and understood by the enemy. But, while his attention was fixed on this movement, and on the march of a division, under Gen. Palmer, down the north bank of the river from a point opposite Chattanooga to Whiteside, where he was to cross and support Hooker, a force was to be got ready, under the direction of Smith, and, at the right moment, thrown across the river at Brown's ferry, three or four miles below Chattanooga, and pushed forward at once to seize the range of hills skirting the river at the mouth of Lookout valley, covering the Brown's ferry road and a pontoon bridge to be quickly thrown across the ferry; thus opening a line of communication between our forces in Chattanooga and Hooker's in Wauhatchie, shorter and better than that held by Bragg around the foot of Lookout mountain.

Hooker crossed, unimpeded, on the 26th; pushing straight on to Wauhatchie, which he reached on the 28th. Meantime, 4,000 men had been detailed to Smith; of whom 1,800, under Brig.-Gen. Hazen, were embarked on 60 pontoon-boats at Chattanooga, and, at the word, floated quietly down the river during the night of the 27th, past the Rebel pickets watching along the left bank, and, landing on the south side, at Brown's ferry, seized the hills overlooking

1 Oct. 11.

2 Oct 18.

3 Oct 23.

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