heavy freshet at Chattanooga.--condition of the troops — appeal to the women of the Confederacy — the enemy's bridges Washed away — brilliant success of Gen. Wheeler--Eloquent address of President Davis, &c.
[from our Own Correspondent.]
The heavy rain adverted to in my last letter continued to pour down in torrents until last night.
, lying between Lookout Mountain
and Missionary Ridge
, is flooded with water.
Our lines extend across this valley, which is drained by Chattanooga creek
, now very much swollen, and, as you may imagine, the condition of the men, especially those in the trenches and on picket, is exceedingly uncomfortable.
None of them have more, than one blanket, and nearly are without shelter of any kind.
Long street's corps is somewhat better off, his men having provided themselves with Yankee flies, India-rubbers, &c., at Chancellorsville
and other battle-fields.
Inquiry at the Quartermaster's department in Richmond
, and personal observation in the armies of Gen. Lee
and Gen. Bragg
, leave no doubt that the greatest want of the troops this winter will be for blankets.
It is not probable that there will be an adequate supply of either clothing, shoes, or hats, or even of provisions, unless we recover East Tennessee
; but the chief want, as already stated, will be blankets.
Arrangements were made sometime since to procure supplies of clothing and shoes, and if our ventures are attended by auspicious gales the army will be able to get through the winter with such help as the people at home can, and doubtless will reader.
Their response to the call made upon them last winter was the sublimest incident of the war, and will be recorded in history as it has already been in "the books" which are kept beyond the sun, and in which all our accounts, whether for good or evil, are entered with an unerring hand.
As in the past, so at this time, I would address my appeal chiefly to the women of the Confederacy
The men have always done their duty in this respect, but the women have done more than their duty — they have helped their husbands, fathers, and brothers to do theirs.
True, they do not enter the field, nor brave the clash of battle, nor use cannon, Minnie rifles, and swords; and yet the vast army of heroic women who have given their hands and hearts to the cause have done their parts as well as their brave brothers in the field.
The weapons they employ are the needle, the spinning-wheel, and the loom, words of encouragement to the weary and faint hearted, and kind and generous deeds in the hospital and by the wayside.
With these arms they have done as much to defeat our wicked enemies as an army of resolute men. If they have not met these enemies in battle, they have met them at the loom and around the couch of the wounded and sick.
If they have not gone to the field in person, they have ever been there in spirit.
In every blanket they have given to the soldier, in every pair of socks they have put upon his bleeding feet, in every garment they have woven for his manly limbs, they have been present in the hour of battle, and have given blows for the freedom of their race.
It is to these heroines of the needle, the loom, and the spinning wheel, that brave veterans who have for three years stood between them and danger now turn for relief.
Shall their appeal be made in vain?
Not as long as there is a blanket, a yard of carpeting or of cloth, or a sheep-skin, that can be spared.
But we are not the only sufferers by the heavy freshet which now prevails.
Two of the enemy's bridges over the Tennessee
were carried away this afternoon, and he is now dependent upon two small steamers for crossing the river, unless he has a third bridge, which cannot be seen from Lookout Mountain
In addition to this, the reinforcements sent out from Meade
's army are reported to be at Bridgeport
and intermediate points, water-bound and unable to move.
's corps is on the north side of the river, opposite Chattanooga
, where it was sent, I presume, to guard against an attack upon the Moccasin
At last we have authentic intelligence from Gen. Wheeler
He crossed the Tennessee
near the mouth of the Hiwassee
, passed around Rosecrans
's army, destroyed the stores at McMinnville
and at a number of depots on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, set fire to the tressel work at several points on the road, captured or destroyed between seven and eight hundred wagons, took a number of prisoners, and sustained considerable loss himself; was pursued by a heavy force, and finally effected a junction with Gen. Stephen D. Lee
, at Decatur
, Ala, where he recrossed the river.
It is stated, also, that he burnt the bridges over Duck
and Elk rivers
, and a large quantity of stores at Murfreesboro
', but this is not certain.
He had a sharp engagement with the enemy when he attacked the wagon train, and lost a number in killed, wounded, and prisoners during the fight and on his way to Decatur
The train was so long that, notwithstanding it was defended by a strong escort, he succeeded in destroying several hundred wagons.
It is understood that the President
sustains Gen. Bragg
, and that no change will be made in the command of the army.
The latter has relieved Gen. Hill
for his alleged tardiness on the morning of the 20th of September, and ordered him to report to Richmond
Rumor has it that Gen.
H. has tendered, or will tender his resignation.
A court of inquiry will probably be ordered in the cases of General Polk
and Gen. Hindman
The four new bridges recently built on the Georgia State
road have been carried away by the freshet.
No mail has arrived or been sent off for the last two days. I shall endeavor to send this letter forward to Dalton
, and have it posted there.