Nevertheless, it is revolting to our sense of humanity to be forced to so cruel an alternative. It is hoped self-interest, if not a sense of justice, may induce the rebels to abandon a course of conduct which must for ever remain a burning disgrace to them and their cause.
Conclusion.It is seen from the foregoing summary of operations, during the past year, that we have repelled every attempt of the enemy to invade the loyal States, and have recovered from his domination Kentucky and Tennessee, and portions of Alabama and Mississippi, and the greater part of Arkansas and Louisiana, and restored the free navigation of the Mississippi River. Heretofore the enemy has enjoyed great advantages over us in the character of his theatre of war. He has operated on short and safe interior lines, while circumstances have compelled us to occupy the circumference of a circle; but the problem is now changed by the reopening of the Mississippi River. The rebel territory has been actually cut in twain, and we can strike the isolated fragments by operating on safer and more advantageous lines. Although our victories, since the beginning of the war, may not have equalled the expectations of the more sanguine, we have every reason to be grateful to Divine Providence for the steady progress of our army. In a little more than two years, we have recaptured nearly every important point held by the rebels on the sea-coast, and we have reconquered and now hold military possession of more than two hundred and fifty thousand square miles of territory held at one time by the rebel armies, and claimed by them as a constituent part of their Confederacy. The extent of country thus recaptured and occupied by our armies is as large as France or Austria, or the entire peninsula of Spain and Portugal, and twice as large as Great Britain, or Prussia, or Italy. Considering what we have already accomplished, the present condition of the enemy, and the immense and still unimpaired military resources of the loyal States, we may reasonably hope, with the same measure of success as heretofore, to bring this rebellion to a speedy and final termination. All of which is respectfully submitted.
Headquarters of the army, Washington, Dec. 6, 1863.sir: In compliance with your instructions, I submit the following summary of the operations of General Grant's army since my report of the fifteenth ultimo. It appears from the official reports which have been received here, that our loss in the operations of the twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, and twenty-ninth of October, in reopening communications on the south side of the Tennessee River, from Chattanooga to Bridgeport. was seventy-six killed, three hundred and thirty-nine wounded, and twenty-two missing. Total, four hundred and thirty-seven. The estimated loss of the enemy was over one thousand five hundred. As soon as General Grant could get up his supplies, he prepared to advance upon the enemy, who had become weakened by the detachment of General Longstreet's command against Knoxville. General Sherman's army arrived upon the north side of Tennessee River, and during the night of the twenty-third and twenty-fourth of November, established pontoon-bridges and crossed to the south side, between Citto Creek and the Chickamauga. On the afternoon of the twenty-third, General Thomas's forces attacked the enemy's rifle-pits, between Chattanooga and Citto Creek. The battle was renewed on the twenty-fourth along the whole line. Sherman carried the eastern end of Missionary Ridge up to the tunnel, and Thomas repelled every attempt of the enemy to regain the position which he had lost at the centre, while Hooker's force in Lookout Valley crossed the mountain and drove the enemy from its northern slope. On the twenty-fifth, the whole of Missionary Ridge, from Rossville to the Chickamauga, was, after a desperate struggle, most gallantly carried by our troops, and the enemy completely routed. Considering the strength of the rebel position, and the difficulty of storming his intrenchments, the battle of Chattanooga must be regarded as one of the most remarkable in history. Not only did the officers and men exhibit great skill and daring in their operations on the field, but the highest praise is also due the Commanding General for his admirable dispositions for dislodging the enemy from a position apparently impregnable. Moreover, by turning his right flank, and throwing him back upon Ringgold and Dalton, Sherman's forces were interposed between Bragg and Longstreet, so as to prevent any possibility of their forming a junction. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing is reported at about four thousand. We captured about six thousand prisoners, beside the wounded left in our hands, forty-two pieces of artillery, five thousand or six thousand small arms, and a large train. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded is not known. While Generals Thomas and Hooker pushed Bragg's army into Georgia, General Sherman, with his own and General Granger's forces, was sent into East-Tennessee to prevent the return of Longstreet, and to relieve General Burnside, who was then besieged in Knoxville. We have reliable information that General Sherman has successfully accomplished his object, and that Longstreet is in full retreat toward Virginia, but no details have been received in regard to Sherman's operations since he crossed the Hiawassee River. Of Burnside's defence of Knoxville, it is only known that every attack of the enemy on that place was successfully repulsed. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,