[from our own Correspondent.]
has not evacuated Chattanooga
, nor is there any reason to believe that he has any such intention.
The long lines of infantry, cavalry, and artillery reported by the signal corps some days ago to be crossing the Tennessee
to the north side, are now believed to have been forces sent out for the purpose of escorting provision and forage trains to Stevenson
, whence the Federal
army obtain their supplies.--Their wagon trains have been sent across the river and parked only for greater safely.
A few brigades of infantry have also been transferred to the north bank with a view to guarding Butler's ford, four miles below the north end of the mountain, and Kelley's ford, some nine miles further down.
The river at the town is in the form of the letter "S," in the northern curve of which, but on the south side of the river, the Federal
army is encamped.
A heavy battery has been planted on the tongue of land on the north side, and on that part of the curve which sweeps around to the south.
This position gives them an enfilading and oblique fire upon an attacking column moving against their front, which is also defended by three lines of breastworks running from one curve of the river to the other.
These lines form a semi-circle in front and are the complement to the bend of the river in the rear.
Within the circle thus formed by the river in the rear and the lines of entrenchments in front, there are a number of hills or elevations which are crowned by formidable earthworks and batteries.
Some of these defences were erected by Gen. Bragg
, but they have been greatly strengthened and multiplied by Gen. Rosecrans
since the battle.
There is a star shaped fort of large extent in front of the railway depot, and near the curve of the second line of breastworks.
Eight hundred or a thousand yards to the right of this, on the line of the East Tennessee railroad, is another work of equal dimensions, but different in form.
This seems to be a redon.--Back of these two works, on an eminence near the river, and between them, is a strong redoubt.
On the high hill behind the town are other batteries admirably located.
Indeed, the entire curve of the Tennessee
occupied by the enemy is covered with a network of forts, breastworks, masked batteries, and rifle-pits.
Many of them can be seen distinctly from Lookout Mountain
, whilst only portions of others can be detected among the trees and behind the hills.
When viewed from our picket lines in front, as I saw them this morning, they look formidable enough.
Can this stronghold be taken by a direct assault?
and Fort Wagner
Strong as the position is already, Rosecrans
shows no disposition to relax his efforts to render it really and absolutely impregnable.
Day and night his engineers are at work.
Possibly the place could have been carried by storm, though not without heavy loss, had we pressed forward from the victorious field of Chickamauga
If any mistake has been committed it was in not making the effort at that time.--It is too late now, I fear.
It may be only two alternatives are left us — either to dig up to the place as the enemy did at Vicksburg
and Fort Wagner
, or to manœuvre him out of it. To do the former will require time and labor; to do the latter will be difficult and hazardous, as will be apparent to the most casual observer of the map of Tennessee
This is not the only disagreeable truth we have to record.
Reinforcements have reached Rosecrans
since the battle, and others are expected.
Prisoners and citizens report the arrival of Burnside
's column, and late Federal papers hint that other troops are on the way. The retention of Chattanooga
is considered as of the first importance, not only as regards Tennessee
, but as a point d'appui
in the future conduct of the war, and it will be held if possible.
The papers admit the defeat of Rosecrans
, but ascribe it to the large reinforcements which they say were sent to Bragg
It is understood that the four bridges burnt by the Confederate cavalry on the Georgia State Railroad have been rebuilt, and that the cars are now running to Chickamauga station
When will our people learn that they injure themselves only when they destroy railway bridges?
The bridges could not be used by the enemy without cars, and of the latter they had none this side the Tennessee
, and could not get any in a space of time which would not have been ample to replace the bridges.
sent in this morning, under flag of truce, one hundred and ninety-two ambulances and several wagons with supplies for his wounded in our hospitals, who have been paroled and will be returned to him this evening and to-morrow.
The ambulance train was met at a point between the two picket lines, and there turned over to Confederate drivers, who will go for the wounded, bring them back to the same point, and there deliver them to the Federal
It is believed that 10,000 will cover our loss in killed, wounded, and missing, and that 20,000 will cover the enemy's, including 7,000 prisoners, of whom 5,000 were well men, taken in battle.
There seems to be some doubt about the wagons reported among the spoils of the victory, and the number of flags taken is twenty, and not forty, as reported to me by one of the highest officers in the army.--Of the 25,000 stand of small arms picked up on the battle field, a portion of them, of course, were dropped by our own killed and wounded.
It is reported that a few more guns have been found in addition to these captured during the fight.
The number is now said to be forty-three.
The flags taken have been sent on to Richmond
by the brave men who captured them and such company officers as greatly distinguished themselves.
It is not probable that our killed will exceed 1,000; of the remaining 9,000, it is not believed that more than 2,000, if so many, were severely wounded, all the rest receiving slight wounds.