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Doc. 56.-operations in east-tennessee.

General Negley's despatches.

headquarters United States forces, four miles beyond Jasper, June 5, 1862.
Gen. O. W. Mitchel, Huntsville:
sir: I have just captured four men, who left Chattanooga this morning. They report the arrival of a portion of Gen. Adams's cavalry, who reached Chattanooga last night. This, with the statements of citizens living along the road, proves the total rout and disgraceful flight of the enemy to Chattanooga — a distance of forty-three miles--without stopping. An attempt was made to rally in Jasper, but they cursed Gen. Adams, and rushed on with their foaming horses. Hundreds of Union men have flocked into Jasper from the mountains. The enemy, who were crossing the river at Shell Mound, retreated to Chattanooga by rail this morning.

Appearances indicate that they will not defend Chattanooga. There were but two regiments at Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday last. Col. Starns' regiment of artillery avoided meeting us, and are now near Sparta; we will give them attention on our return. I trust you may be able to engage the attention of Starns until we can overtake him. I shall push on to Chattanooga to-morrow.

Jas. S. Negley, Brigadier-General Commanding.

headquarters U. S. Forces, before Chattanooga, June 7, 10 A. M.
Gen. O. M. Mitchel, Huntsville:
sir: Yesterday morning moved Col. Sill's command direct to Shell Mound to divert the enemy opposite that point, also prevent them from crossing. Col. Sill found two pieces of artillery in position and opened upon it without reply. As I expected, they threw heavy reinforcements to that point last night, expecting the attack to be made there. Col. Scott and Capt. Shaffer's Ohio cavalry were sent from Jasper by a path through the mountain, which resulted in surprising and capturing the enemy's pickets at the ferry and preventing the further retreat of Adams's men over the river. My main force came by Anderson's road. Col. Scribner's command is occupying an important point, which I omit alluding to except by saying that it is for the benefit of Starns and his artillery, who are now at Altmount.

We captured a large number of rebel cavalry pickets and scouts; also, a large quantity of contraband stores. The Union people are wild with joy, while the rebels are panic-stricken. Col. Morgan is in Chattanooga, also Gen. Adams. The enemy's force there is about three thousand with ten pieces of artillery. The gunboat has not been heard from as yet; we are looking for it this morning. Two steamboats have left Chattanooga for Knoxville. We shall soon need supplies. Can we get them from Bellefonte or Stevenson? Will send you further news this evening.

Jas. S. Negley, Brigadier-General Commanding.

headquarters, before Chattanooga, June 8, 1862--8 A. M.
Gen. O. M. Mitchel, Huntsville:
sir: I have no tidings of the gunboat. It is almost impossible to construct sufficient pontoons to cross the river in force. I do not consider the capture of Chattanooga as very difficult or hazardous, if we were prepared to do it and then hold the place. But taking into consideration the exposed condition of both front and rear of our lines to Pittsburgh Landing, the long line of communication over a hardly possible road, the liability of a rise of the streams we have to ford, some of them being now three (3) feet deep, with rough bottoms, our limited supplies, and the fact that our expedition has accomplished all we expected to do, has determined me to retire the forces, taking different routes, so as to drive Starns to Knoxville. I shall make another demonstration against Chattanooga this morning, during which time the trains will be descending the mountain.

Col. Turchin's command may be expected via Bellefonte.

Yours, very truly,

Jas. S. Negley, Brigadier-General.

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Starns (4)
James S. Negley (4)
John W. Adams (4)
Sill (2)
O. M. Mitchel (2)
Turchin (1)
A. Stevenson (1)
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B. F. Scribner (1)
Thomas A. Scott (1)
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