From the army of Tennessee.
--A correspondent of the Montgomery Advertiser
writes from Chattanooga
, August 31, as follows:
The dull monotony of expectation has been broken within the last two days by some skirmishing at long range across the Tennessee
, between the sharpshooters.--There the advance pickets face each other, covered by precipices, rocks, and forests, seemingly impenetrable to the messengers of destruction.
Yet a chance shot occasionally finds its victim through heedlessness, daring, or curiosity, on the part of the unfortunate one.
This morning about daylight there was quite a spirited exchange of missiles, which startled the sleeper from his dreams of home and reminded him that he was in the midst of an active contest between two armies, manœuvering for every advantage before the deadly conflict shall decide the fate of each.
Apparently reliable rumors say that the enemy has crossed in some force at Shell Mound
, and is making his way down Wills Valley
Our commanding General
must have some confidence in the report, as the fine brigade of Brig.-Gen. Preston Smith
, commanded by a soldier of tried metal and merit, was last night dispatched across Lookout Mountain
to watch the movements of this force.
It is only feared by our most sagacious officers that these rumors are not correct, or at least that Rosecrans
is too wily a leader to risk his army or any large portion of it in a position where his destruction will be speedy and certain.
Let him once cross the Tennessee
west of this point and become entangled in the fastnesses and passes of that region, if he has lost his proverbial cunning and has become giddy with questionable success.
He will rue the day that he exchanged his feline cunning and caution for the lion's audacity!
The men of the Army of Tennessee wish him to fall into no securer trap than this!
Opinions are divided as to whether he will form a junction with Burnside
in East Tennessee
, or leave the latter to fight it out with Buckner
, while he endeavors to move in the direction of Dalton
An eminent general officer of this army believes that he is moving his whole force to effect a junction with Buckner
; that Crittenden
's headquarters are now at Dunlop
, at the foot of the mountain; that he has left large garrisons at Bridgeport
, and Murfreesboro
', and has 45,000 left with which to reinforce Burnside
If the view and information of this officer be correct, he is then compelled to fight a desperate battle; for if he fails his whole army will fall an easy prey to Bragg
, whose communications with the rear will be left undisturbed, while those of Rosecrans
will extend over two difficult mountain ridges, sparsely settled, badly watered, and easy of ambush.
can also concentrate his entire force upon his foe — a force now grown enthusiastically confident, desperate, and determined to win victory or fall in the struggle.
No one in the army doubts the result.
I would rather believe, with all the difficulties which environ it, that is the design of the Federal General
, than to think he will duplicate the error of Hooker
, by separating his forces on our two wings, and thus giving us the opportunity to mass the whole army of Tennessee upon either of the opposing forces that we may deem the most vulnerable.