[from our own Correspondent.]
Army of Tennessee, Oct. 23, 1863.
We have interesting news from East Tennessee
, some account of which you have doubtless received ere this by telegraph.
In this, as in the matter of Wheeler
's expedition, however, I can only furnish you with a general account, leaving it to some one who was present to supply the details.
I learn from a well-informed source that two dispatches have been received by Gen. Bragg
from our cavalry forces operating on the line of the East Tennessee Railroad.
These forces consist of two brigades, commanded respectively by Col. Morrison
, of Georgia
, and Col. Dibbrell
, of Tennessee
The first dispatch states that they attacked the enemy's cavalry on the 21st inst. at Philadelphia
, about sixty miles from Chattanooga
by the railroad, capturing 400 prisoners, their artillery, small arms, camp equipage, &c. The second dispatch states that the Confederates
pursued the remainder of the Federal
forces to their defences at London
, some five miles beyond Philadelphia
; where they made additional captures, amounting altogether at both places to seven hundred prisoners, 50 wagons, loaded with stores, ten ambulances, six pieces of artillery, a lot of mules and horses, and other property.
No particulars have been received, as far as I can learn, of the casualties on either side.
Nor is it known what the strength of the enemy is, or the character of his defences, at London
This latter place is situated on the Tennessee river
, where the railroad crosses it, and the forces stationed there constitute, probably, the advance guard of that wing of the Federal
army which is operating from Knoxville
as a base.
Our success will doubtless cut off the supplies which it is reported Rosecrans
has been receiving from that quarter, and to that extent add to the perplexity of his situation at Chattanooga
Turning towards Bridgeport
, it is reported that our pickets are four miles this side of Trenton, in Dade county
, Gd., and that the enemy's pickets occupy Sand Mountain
, the foot of which on this side is represented to be thirteen miles from Bridgeport
It is by this route, it is believed, that the enemy would advance by the rear upon Lookout Mountain
, the possession of which is an object of the greatest interest to him. It is reported that he is engaged rebuilding the bridge at Bridgeport
; but neither the bridge nor the railroad thence to Chattanooga
, would be of any avail to him unless he could wrest Lookout Mountain
from us. The Nashville and Chattanooga railroad, as you are aware, runs between the Tennessee river
and the mountain, which approach so close in many places that it was necessary to blow out a road-bed along the rocky sides of the mountain before the ralls could be laid down.
The possession of the mountain, and the reopening of this part of the railroad, would solve the question of supplies for the Federal
army, and render it an easy matter to maintain itself in Chattanooga
It is proper to add that a scout just in informs me that the pickets of the enemy do not hold Sand Mountain
, though he admits that a detachment of their cavalry dashed into Trenton
a few days ago, stole some horses, and then disappeared.
The batteries of the enemy kept up a slow fire throughout the day yesterday.
It was directed against the north face of Lookout Mountain
, to wards the town, and our lines between Chattanooga creek
and the mountain.
A few shot were fired at other portions of the lines, but without results anywhere.
Our guns did not reply.
Before closing this communication allow me to correct a mistake into which the Federal
seem to have fallen in regard to the battle of Chickamauga
's command was not posted on our right either on Saturday or Sunday, as they appear to believe, but on the left, where they were driven back with great slaughter on Sunday, and their entire line eventually forced to retire.
On Saturday the enemy attempted to turn our right flank, at the suggestion of Gen. Thomas
, but was fooled by the stubborn resistance of Walker
, and Cleburne
; whilst Stewart
, of Longstreet
's command, fought on the left, as they did on the succeeding day. On Sunday Rosecrans
, the idea of turning our right having been abandoned, seemed to act under the belief that we were attempting to turn his left, opposed to our right, and he massed such a force on that part of his lines as to enable him to maintain his position against repeated assaults.
In this, however, he committed a blunder, as well as made a mistake; for, in drawing upon his right and sending his reserves to strengthen his left, he weakened his right to such an extent as to render it impossible for it to stand up against Longstreet
This massing of forces upon his left explains, moreover, why it was that our right wing was not more successful in the early part of the fight on Sunday.
It had fearful odds to contend against.