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[50] infantry and artillery amounted to fully 70,000, divided into four corps. About the same time, General Burnside advanced from Kentucky towards Knoxville, East Tennessee, with a force estimated by the General commanding that department at over 25,000. In view of the great superiority of numbers brought against him, General Buckner concluded to evacuate Knoxville, and with a force of about 5,000 infantry and artillery and his cavalry, took position in the vicinity of Lovdon. Two brigades of his command, Frazier's at Cumberland gap, and Jackson's in northeast Tennessee, were thus severed from us. The enemy having already obtained a lodgment in East Tennessee by another route, the continued occupation of Cumberland Gap became very hazardous to the garrison and comparitively unimportant to us. Its evacuation was accordingly ordered, but on the appeal of its commander, stating his resources and ability for defence, favorably endorsed by Major-General Buckner, the orders were suspended on the 31st August. The main body of our army was encamped near Chattanooga, whilst the cavalry force, much reduced and enfeebled by long service on short rations, was recruiting in the vicinity of Rome, Georgia. Immediately after crossing the mountains to the Tennessee, the enemy threw a corps by way of Sequatchie Valley to strike the rear of General Buckner's command, whilst Burnside occupied him in front. One division already ordered to his assistance, proving insufficient to meet the force concentrating on him, Buckner was directed to withdraw to the Hiawassee, with his infantry, artillery and supplies, and to hold his cavalry in front to check the enemy's advance. As soon as this change was made, the corps threatening his rear was withdrawn, and the enemy commenced a movement in force against our left and rear. On the last of August, it became known that he had crossed his main force over the Tennessee river, at and near Carpenter's ferry, the most accessible point from Stevenson. By a direct route he was now as near our main depot of supplies as we were, and our whole line of communication was exposed, whilst his was partially secured by mountains and the river. By the timely arrival of two small divisions from Mississippi, our effective force, exclusive of cavalry, was now a little over 35,000, with which it was determined to strike on the first favorable opportunity. Closely watched by our cavalry, which had been brought forward, it was soon ascertained that the enemy's general movement was towards our left and rear, in the direction of Dalton and Rome, keeping Lookout mountain between us. The nature of the country, and the want of supplies in it, with the presence of Burnside's force



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