[from our Own Correspondent.]
It is not known whether Gen. Hardee
will remain in permanent command of the army; but if he should do so, then it will be necessary to assign Major-Generals
to the command of the corps into which it is divided, since he takes rank among the junior Lieutenant-Generals
Of the officers of this rank the following is the order of their appointment, to wit: Longstreet
, Kirby Smith
, A P. Hill
, and D. H. Hill
Think of Jackson
coming after Holmes
, and barely taking precedence of Pemberton
has already declined the command of the army, except temporarily.
He thinks that one of our very ablest officers should be assigned to duty here, and his modesty forbids him to believe that he is the proper person for the position.
This is the third time that Gen. Bragg
has asked to be relieved.
The first time, I understand, after the battle of Murfreesboro
', the second just after the battle of Chickamauga
, and the third and last time since the disaster at Missionary Ridge
In a few days I propose to prepare a review of his last campaign, commencing with the evacuation of Chattanooga
and ending with his retirement from the command of the army.
The enemy has retired from our front across the Chickamauga
, having burnt the town of Ringgold
, destroyed the railroad bridges, torn up the track, beated and bent the iron bars, and laid wasted the country along the route of his retreat.
This movement would seem to decide the question as to Grant
's future intentions, at least for the winter.
As he cannot advance in the direction of Rome
during the winter months, so he cannot move by this route without the aid of the railroad which he has been destroying.
This may be a ruse, however, intended to throw us off our guard until he can accumulate supplies and transportation for a forward movement.
It has been suggested that the Federal
plans may embrace an advance upon Virginia
through Bast Tennessee
, and a junction of the armies of Grant
under the walls of Richmond
But such an undertaking is hardly practicable, especially in midwinter.
It is more probable that heavy demonstrations will be made in the direction of Knoxville
, with a view to frightening Longstreet
from his pray; and it may be that a reinforcing column will be sent to the relief of Burnside
Indeed, our cavalry scouts report that forces are already in motion for that destination, having, at last accounts, reached the neighborhood of Charleston
Nothing has been received from Longstreet
himself for several days.
That he has opened fire upon Knoxville
there can be but little doubt, but with what result is not known.
He will probably retreat in the direction of Bristol
The repulse of the enemy by Gen. Cleburne
was at Ringgold Gap, in Taylor's Ridge
, about one mile this side of Ringgold
informs me that the loss of the enemy was fully 2,600, and that his own casualties were very few, his killed being only thirty.
Having checked the pursuit of the enemy until our trains could retire, Gen. Cleburne
followed on, leaving, necessarily, his killed and twelve of his wounded in the hands of the foe. He captured, as has already been reported, three flags and about three hundred prisoners.--According to the report of these prisoners, Gens. Grant
, and Hooker
, were all present at the affair, having come out, doubtless, to witness the humiliation of the Confederates
They discovered, however, that Bragg
's army was not the routed and demoralized rabble they had imagined it to be, and consequently they abandoned the pursuit, and fell back upon Missionary Ridge
. --They were not ambuscaded, as was at first reported.
The fight was an open, stand-up affair, in which the enemy had the advantage in numbers and Cleburne
has been relieved of his command with this army.
is expected here in a few days, when he and Gen. Cheatham
, being the two ranking Major Generals
, will be assigned to the command of the two corps of the army.
You will be surprised and mortified to learn that this army is not free from the vice of intemperance.
I refer to the painful subject here merely to warn those officers who are guilty of this abominable offence that, if I forbear for the present to publish their names, it is only to give them an opportunity to reform their habits and do their duty.
If they persist in their criminal courses no power on earth shall prevent their exposure.
If life be vouchsafed to me and you will print my letters.--It is but just to add that this horrid vice does not prevail to much extent, and that I have seen only one private drunk in all this army.