[from our own Correspondent.]
The Federal General Sherman
does not suffer the grass to grow under his feet.
A month ago it was not believed that he would form a junction with the army at Chattanooga
before the first of February; whereas the Louisville Journal
, of the 17th inst., informs us that he has already joined his forces with those of Gen. Thomas
Had he continued to move along the Memphis and Charleston railroad, and to repair the track as he came, it is not probable that he would have arrived here before early spring.
It is not believed that his forces have yet come to Chattanooga
, but have stopped at Stevenson
, from which points they conveniently threaten our left flank.--If they have crossed the Tennessee
at all, they are still in the neighborhood of Bridgeport
, or somewhere on the railroad between that point and Brown's Ferry.
The enemy's movements yesterday were just sufficient to justify the suspicion that he intended to throw a force into McLemore's Cove to-day.--If such was his design he has abandoned it, for the present at least; but whether on account of the heavy rains last night and to day, or because he found that the vigilant eyes of the Confederates
were upon him, it is impossible to say. That he has withdrawn his whole army out of Chattanooga
except a few divisions, there can be but little doubt.
The chief doubt felt is in regard to his designs, whether he intends to make an assault upon Lookout mountain
, or to repeat the manœuvre of Rosecrans
, and move down Wills's Valley in the direction of Rome, Ga.
It is not supposed that the forces withdrawn have yet left the vicinity of Chattanooga
; they are probably concealed in the timber on the north side of the river, or in Lookout Valley
Possibly a portion of them have marched up the river to the assistance of Burnside
, now beleaguered in Knoxville
has declined to allow any further flags of truce for a week to come, and this of itself is significant of a desire for concealment.
The storm has certainly gathered, and the thunderbolt is forged and ready to be launched; but we hope that the movement in East Tennessee
will serve as a conductor, and that if the lightning be not stayed altogether it may at least be diverted from our devoted heads.
Up to five o'clock this afternoon no intelligence had been received at headquarters of any engagement in the neighborhood of Knoxville
other than that between Wheeler
and the Federal
cavalry, in which we captured about 300 prisoners, killed and wounded about 100, and drove the enemy from Maryville
back into Knoxville
A dispatch has just been received from Gen. Longstreet
, in which he states that Burnside
had retired upon Knoxville
, where he now has been surrounded.
It was desired that Gen. Longstreet
's connection with the expedition should not be made public for the present; but, since it has found its way into the newspapers, it need not be disguised that he is in command of our forces now operating in East Tennessee
The letter published in the New York Herald
, purporting to have been written by Col. Northrop
, Commissary General
of the Confederate States
, to the Secretary of War
, in relation to an apprehended scarcity of supplies, and detailing his interview with certain Southern Governors at Milledgeville
and with Gen. Bragg
, is a transparent forgery.
No such trip was ever made by Colonel Northrop
, and Gen. Bragg
never saw him or wrote to him on the subject.
At the time spoken of, Gen.
B. was at Tullahoma
Persons visiting their friends in the army would do well to bring their blankets with them; for neither officers nor men have enough to share even with brothers and fathers.
When the visit is completed, they might do another good thing, and that is, leave their blankets with their army friends.
The weather is clearing up as I write--10 o'clock at night, and there is a prospect of blue skies to-morrow.