[from our own Correspondent.]
The dull monotony which has prevailed in camp since our arrival in front of Chattanooga
was relieved yesterday by a bombardment of the enemy's works.
Several of our longest range guns were placed in position — some of them on the side of Lookout Mountain
— and a slow but regular fire was kept up from 11 o'clock in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.
This fire was maintained at intervals during last night.
The guns put in position on the side of the mountain were the 20 pounder Parrotts of Col. E. P. Alexander
, chief of artillery
The enemy replied to our fire from three points only — their extreme left up the river, the star fort in the centre, and the moccasin works on their left.
These last works are on the north side and in a bend of the river opposite our left, and are so designated because the ground in the bend of the river assumes the shape of an Indian's moccasin.--They are in the lower part of the S which sweeps around towards our lines at the foot of Lookout.
The ground in the moccasin is elevated and irregular, and gives the enemy an enfilading fire upon a column moving across the against their centre or right.
There are three casemate batteries of rille guns on the moccasin, and they are known among the Confederates
as the moccasin batteries.
The Star fort is situated about the centre of the Federal
lines, and is an extensive and formidable work.
We have not yet been able to ascertain the number of guns it mounts, though we could see that four of its guns replied to our fire.
None of their guns, however, were able to reach our batteries on the mountain, on account of their great elevation.
The distance was too far for our guns to produce any particular effect.
Several of our shot were seen to explode above the Star
fort and over the Federal
lines; but as far as I could see, with the aid of an excellent glass, no unusual commotion was created thereby in the camps of the enemy.
The men moved in an orderly manner to their positions in the forts and behind the breast-works, and stood firmly to their posts throughout the day. A few of our 12-pounder howitzers were placed within twelve hundred yards of the Federal
lines, but the guns chiefly relied upon were not nearer than two and two and a half miles.
Our casualties were few and slight, not exceeding five or six wounded from shells.
The enemy doubtless suffered a heavier loss, inasmuch as his troops were more closely massed in an open plain.
The freshet in the Tennessee
, produced by the late 30 hours rain, carried away the enemy's lower bridge, night before last.
This was a hastily constructed trestle work, slight and frail, the pontoon bridge being higher up the river, and opposite the town.
Several parties were out yesterday in flats and batteaux trying to save the wreck of the bridge, but they met with indifferent success.
The enemy has secured a small steamboat — probably one that had been plying up the river from Chattanooga
— and this they are using as a ferry boat.
A deserter, who swam the river yesterday and delivered himself up to our pickets, says that a report prevailed in their camps that our cavalry had destroyed between four and five hundred of their wagons with their contents.
He says also that the Federal
suffered very much for food for a week after the battle of Chickamauga
, but that they were now receiving full rations, a supply train having arrived.
With the exceptions noted above, no change has occurred since the date of my last letter.
There is still some doubt felt in regard to the reinforcements alleged to have been received by Rosecrans
One day we hear that the forces lately in East Tennessee
, under Burnside
, have certainly arrived, and again that several trains loaded with troops have been seen by our pickets below to arrive at Stevenson
; and on the next it is affirmed most positively that no reinforcements whatever have come up, either from Burnside
, or Meade
My own opinion is that additional forces have been received, and that the time has passed when we could hope to force Rosecrans
out of Chattanooga
, except by a flank movement upon Nashville
, or the destruction of his line of communications to the rear.
Twenty thousand men, if properly previsioned, can hold the place indefinitely.
, unwilling it is said to report to Gen. Wheeler
, has been granted a leave of absence.
There is but little harmony or unity in the army of Tennessee, whilst its organization is less perfect and its discipline less effective than that of Gen. Lee