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You may judge, from the number and nature of these rumors, what our situation must be, shut up from all outside information, as we are, here within the corporate limits of Knoxville.

In a former letter, speaking of the affair of Sunday, I stated the Twenty-seventh Kentucky “had abandoned the rifle-pits, etc.” This was the information forwarded to division headquarters. I learn since that it was untrue. The regiment was ordered to fall back by the officer in command, and behaved gallantly in the subsequent charge to regain their position.

Saturday, Dec. 5.--I add hastily by sudden courier. It is over. Our long, anxious suspense, the siege, the campaign, and, I devoutly trust and believe, the culminating crisis of the rebellion. The dead point of danger is past; the position of East-Tennessee is assured to the Union. The Smoky Mountains will hereafter become our military front. The advance of our reenforcements, under Sherman, arrived yesterday morning. Granger is on the way. Longstreet's hours in East-Tennessee are numbered. His chief care since that glorious Sunday before Sanders has been, as I suggested, to escape from the trap in which he was involved by that blundering humbug Bragg. Our faith in Grant has not been in vain or misplaced.

A cavalry brigade, in command of Colonel Long, Fourth Ohio volunteer cavalry, is marching across our pontoon while I write. From Major Smith and Dr. Owens, of the Fifth Ohio volunteer cavalry, I learn the particulars of the utter demoralization of Bragg. A reconnoissance of our front is now out. The result will probably be to bring in rebel pickets out of the wet, and ascertain that Longstreet is on his way to Dixie. I will send particulars as soon as obtained. I cannot obtain full lists of killed and wounded of Shackleford's division. Our entire loss in all the engagements, during twenty-two days, will not reach one thousand. The rebel loss, during the same time, is not short of five thousand.

News of reconnaissance just in — enemy gone since Tuesday. Our cavalry are in pursuit to pick up stragglers. Thus endeth the campaign in East-Tennessee. What we will do with the huge army sent here by Grant, is problematical. One does not require the foot of an elephant to kill a gnat, and Grant is not one to overdo.

December 6.--I made a thorough survey of the enemy's position yesterday. The extent and elaborateness of their defensive as well as offensive works is proof positive that they intended to stay in front of Knoxville until it was captured or surrendered. It would be safe to say that four hundred acres of timber were cleared off by Longstreet's army and converted into log breastworks, and protections for rifle-pits. Their line of permanent works extended from the front of Fort Sanders about two and a half miles round to the right, terminating at the line of the Clinton Railroad.

There are eight inclosed works, with embrasures for one gun, situated checkerboard fashion; that is, one in front of a given line, the next, say fifty yards to the rear, and so on. These all, except two, which were evidently the last two built, and which were located two hundred yards to the left of the Clinton Railroad, bore upon the works of Fort Sanders and Temperance Hill forts. These last two works commanded the gorge of the railroad running north from the city.

To the right of this line, eastward, there was chiefly an open plain, three quarters of a mile wide, extending round to our extreme right, which was perfectly honeycombed by our own and the enemy's rifle-pits, in some parts within a few yards of each other. Their camp-fires were still burning in many places, and a considerable quantity of camp debris was scattered about. The enemy had begun to construct log huts, showing that he had intended to stay.

At the small-pox hospital, opposite the Clinton Railroad, a mile from town, a soldier having that loathsome disease had been left, with an attendant two days before the enemy came in. Upon the arrival of the rebel army the nurse ran away, and the poor soldier probably died for want of attention. Yesterday he was found dead in the house, his blankets and clothing having been stripped off and carried away by some greedy rebel in Longstreet's army.

Five miles from town, near the house of a Mr. Bell, one of our men was found hanging by the neck suspended to the limb of a tree, with a paper pinioned upon his breast. The paper contained in pencil the following: “Milon Ferguson, One Hundred and Eighteenth Ohio regiment, sent into our lines by Colonel Byrd in disguise. Hung as a spy, by order of--------.” General Carter sent and had the soldier brought to town and decently interred. The neighbors, who were accused of the hanging, say it was done by rebel General Martin's escort.

The following is General Burnside's congratulatory order to the army:

headquarters army of the Ohio, in the field, December 5, 1863.
General field orders, No. 34.

The Commanding General congratulates the troops on the raising of the siege.

With unsurpassed fortitude and patient watchfulness they have sustained the wearing duties of the defence, and with unyielding courage they have repulsed the most desperate assaults.

The army of the Ohio has nobly guarded the loyal region it redeemed from its oppressors, and rendered the heroic defence of Knoxville memorable in the annals of the war.

Strengthened by the experiences and the successes of the past, they now, with the powerful support of the gallant army which has come to their relief, and with undoubting faith in the Divine protection, enter with the brightest prospects upon the closing scenes of a most brilliant campaign.

By command of

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