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Opening of the campaign against East Tennessee

The Yankee raid upon Knoxville and the East Tennessee and Virginia and East Tennessee and Georgia railroads is the procurator of Burnside's active operations against that portion of the Confederacy. A letter in the New York Herald, a few days since, descanted on the immense importance of these coming movements. Burnside is described as in the saddle at the head of his army, and his headquarters were on the 4th last, temporarily located at Hickman's Bridge, on the Kentucky river, a little over 100 miles from Cumberland Gap. The strategical results of the invasion of East Tennessee, the writer thinks, will be to paralyze the efforts to reinforce Johnston at Vicksburg, threaten the flank of Gen. Bragg, and "secure one of the most important lines of interior communication of the rebels. " The correspondent builds high hopes on the reported Union feeling in the section Burnside is about to invade, and thinks the Yankees will be greatly assisted by it. Speaking of the Federal corps appointed to do the work and the reported strength of the Confederates, the writer says:

Brig. Gen. Nagle, lately commanding the First brigade, Second division, of the Ninth corps, has resigned. A chronic affection of the functions of the heart has compelled him to desist from active service, and he parts with regret from the soldiers who have shared with him the glories and dangers of so many battle-fields. Colonel Griffin, of the Sixth New Hampshire, is at present in command of the brigade. Gen. Ferrero has rejoined his old comrades of the Second division, to the command of which he has been appointed in the absence of General Sturgis, who, it is reported, is to have another and a larger command.

Gen. Wilcox takes the field to-morrow. He leaves Lexington with the unfeigned regret of its citizens, from whom his conduct, while he was in command here, won the utmost, praise and admiration. A complimentary card, signed by the prominent citizens, has been duly engrossed and presented to him.

Maj. Gen. Hartsuff arrived here on Saturday. His headquarters are to be here, (Lexington, Ky.,) but before locating he intends making a tour of the State to inspect the troops assigned to his command.

From sources of a private nature I have been enabled to ascertain the following facts in reference to the strength and position of the rebel forces in East Tennessee:

The department is commanded by Major Gen. S. B. Buckner, and embraces less than twenty regiments, or about 15,000 troops.

At Knoxville, where Major General W. G. Maury is in command, is stationed Col. J. J. Finley's brigade, embracing the 6th and 7th Florida regiments, together with the 54th Virginia, Col. Trigg, the 9th Georgia artillery battery, and the 12th battalion Tennessee cavalry.

At Williamsburg, the 5th Tennessee cavalry, Col. McKenzie.

At Clinton, the 10th battalion Tennessee cavalry and a detachment of the Sixty-fourth North Carolina.

At Jonesboro', a detachment of the Sixty-third Tennessee.

At the base of Pine Mountain, opposite Big Greek Gap, a detachment of the Fifth Tennessee cavalry.

At Cumberland Gap, Gen. Gracey is in command, with two brigades — his own and that of Colonel Fain. The Sixty-third Tennessee is among the regiments there stationed. A regiment of cavalry, under Col. Hart, was at the Gap in the early part of May last, but is now supposed to be in the vicinity of Barboursville.

Besides the above, there are three North Carolina regiments in Eastern Tennessee, commanded respectively by Colonel Thomas, Walker, and R. G. A. Love.

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