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From the army of Tennessee.

[from our own Correspondent.]
Dalton, Ga., December 13, 1863.
There is no change to report in the situation of affairs in this quarter. The report which has found its way to Atlanta to the effect that the enemy are evacuated Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, leaving only a small garrison at Chattanooga, is without foundation, as are ninety-nine out of every hundred of the reports taken to the rear by "officers just from the front." Our scents and pickets have not been within sight of Chattanooga since the battle, and our only information from that point has come through prisoners, and citizens who have escaped from the lines of the enemy. These parties state that Grant has sent off large bodies of troops to other points, principally towards Knoxville, but they bring no such intelligence as that he has withdrawn his forces from Lookout and Missionary Ridge.

The report here alluded to reminds me of another which has been put in circulation outside of the army, to the injury of a very worthy officer. I refer to the statement, said to be circulating generally through the press, that Capt. Bain, Chief of the Signal Corps in this army, had deserted to the enemy. There is not one word of truth in the report. I saw Capt. B. yesterday, and learned from him that Lieut. George E. Tabb, of the Signal Corps, had disappeared under circumstances which left but little doubt of his desertion, Lieut. Tubb is a native of Virginia, and his connection with Capt. Bain's corps may have led to the mistake which associated the name of the latter with the transaction.

It is exceedingly difficult for one who remains with the army to get at the exact truth, however industrious and conscientious he may be; so difficult, indeed, that I have come to the conclusion that there is very little truth in history. The prejudices, partialities, interests, and passions of men obscure the truth just as the clouds and mists shut out the sun and hide him from our gaze. An example in point refurnished by the late battle, where some one brigade was the first to yield; and yet, but for the candid admission of Gen. Anderson, who is as truthful as he is chivalrous, that his own brigade (heretofore considered one of the most, if not the most gallant in the whole army) was the first to retire, the vexed question would still remain unsettled; for when one goes to the officers and men of the brigade themselves he finds that every one of them can point to others which gave way before his own did. If it be so difficult to winnow the wheat from the chaff here in the army, how can a fugitive from the field, "an intelligent officer from the front," or "a reliable gentleman who came down on the cars," extract the truth from such a mass of falsehood and give it a consistency worthy of publication? The tales of passengers, like the cinders and ashes in railway locomotives, increase and multiply the further they travel, and the more they increase and multiply the less valuable do they become. When the authors of so much news have reached "the city," and been plied and pounded and belabored by industrious reporters and editors, the net result, like the soot beaten out of the engine which has transported such precious freight, is too small to be calculated.

The troops are building cabins and preparing quarters for the winter, and it is hoped that all of them will be housed in a short time, and protected from the wretched weather which now prevails. It is not believed that the enemy will seek us here for some time, if at all this winter. By next spring we hope to be in a condition to treat him to another Chickamauga that will end his campaign in this quarter.

The Adjutant and inspector General of the army of the Confederate States has issued an order in regard to horses which comes nearly up to a suggestion made in this correspondence some weeks ago. Forage in kind will hereafter be issued to officers (entitled to it) stationed by orders from the War Department at posts, and not in the field, but for one horse each. In lieu of forage, eight dollars a month may be allowed for each horse to which the officer is entitled. A certificate in each case will be given that the horses are actually kept in service and mustered. Officers of the Adjutant General's, Quartermaster's, Commissary, (except purchasing commissaries,) Medical, and Ordnance Departments, signal and regimental officers, (except commanders of regiments,) and subalterns of artillery, who are serving in the field, are embraced in the provisions of the order, unless otherwise directed by the Commanding General. If the order had gone further, and been made to apply to aide-de-camp, and had dismounted the escorts now allowed to Lieut. Generals and Major-Generals, it would have been all the better. Forage, as well as horses, is too scarce to indulge officers in such costly appendages.

This letter will close my correspondence from the army for the present. In a day or two I propose to take a furlough and return home, and there bring the labors of this eventful year to an end with a series of sketches of prominent and meritorious officers in the Army of Tennessee, concluding the whole. It may be, with a running summary or review of the military operations for the last twelve months.

Sallust.

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Bain (2)
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