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along the desolated corn-fields, and amid the startled recesses of primeval forests, the bustle and the stir of war were rife. Two hundred thousand soldiers were concentrating from the East and the West, either in motion for this one battle-field, or guarding its approaches, or bringing up supplies, or waiting anxiously for those who were, with them, to fight the battle of Chattanooga. And over all these preparations, and all these armies, the spirit of one man was dominant. On the 14th of November, Halleck telegraphed Advices received from East Tennessee indicate that Burnside intends to abandon the defence of Little Tennessee river, and fall back before Longstreet, towards Cumberland gap and the upper valley. Longstreet is said to be near the Little Tennessee, with from twenty to forty thousand men; Burnside has about thirty thousand in all, and can hold his position; he ought not to retreat. I fear further delay may result in Burnside's abandonment of East Tennessee. This w
forty yards. A bridge was indispensable. There were no pioneers, and only such tools as axes, picks, and spades; but a bridge was constructed, with cribwork and trestles made of the houses of the late town of Morgantown; and, by dark, of December 4th, troops and animals were passing. The Fifteenth corps was across before daylight; but the bridge broke, and Granger's corps with Davis's division was left on the western side. At this juncture, word was received from Burnside. On the 14th of November, the bulk of his force was distributed between Kingston, Knoxville, Loudon, and Lenoir. He now knew, certainly, that Longstreet's corps was moving up against him; he had conferred with General Wilson, of Grant's staff, and with Mr. Dana, of the War Department, whom Grant had sent to him for this purpose; and decided that he could better carry out Grant's views, by drawing Longstreet further away from the rebel army at Chattanooga, than by checking him at Loudon. Early on the morning