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man, who represented him at Wicksburg, did not receive the dispatch till it was several days old. Hurlbut promptly put his West Tennessee corps in motion eastward; but this was not enough ; and IIalleck, on learning of the reverse on the Chickamauga—hearing nothing from Grant or Sherman—detached ” the 11th and 12th corps from the Army of the Potomac, and ordered them, under Gen. Hooker, to Middle Tennessee, to hold, till further orders, Rosecrans's line of communications from Nashville to Bridgeport. This transfer of 20,000 men, with all their ar. tillery, munitions, and baggage, was made with remarkable celerity, through the extraordinary exertions of Gen. D. C. McCallum, government superintendent of railroads, M. C. Meigs, Quartermaster General, and W. Prescott Smith, master of transportation on the Baltimore and Ohio road: the two corps marching from the Rapidan to Washington, taking cars, and being transported by Cumberland, Wheeling, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Nashville, to the Tennessee, and there debarked in fighting array, within eight days. Meantime, Bragg had sent a large portion of his cavalry, under Wheeler and Wharton, across” the Tennessee at Cottonport, between Chattanooga and Bridgeport, instructed to cut our communications and destroy our supplies sofar as possible. Wheeler, doubtless thoroughly informed, made directly for a large portion of Gen. Thomas's train of 700 to 1,000 wagons, laden with supplies, then in Sequatchie valley, near Anderson's Cross-roads, which he captured” and burned; being attacked, directly af. ” Sept. 23. * Sept. 30. vol. II.-28
terward, by Col. E. M. McCook, who, with three regiments of cavalry, had been ordered from Bridgeport to pursue him. McCook had the better of the fight; but darkness closed it; and the enemy moved off during the night, while McCook had no orders to purSue him. Wheeler next struck McMinnville, in the heart of Tennessee, which, with 600 men, a train of wagons, and one of cars, was surrendered to him without a struggle, and where he burned a large quantity of supplies. But here he was overhauled by Gen. Geo. Crook, who, with another cavalry division, 2,000 strong, had started from Washington, Tenn., and had for some hours been pursuing and fighting Wharton, and by whose order Col. Long, with the 2d Kentucky, charged the rear of the now flying foe with spirit and effect. Wheeler's force being superior, he halted and fought dismounted till dark, and then struck out for Murfreesboro'; but that post was firmly held, and he could not wait to carry it; so he swept down to Warren and Shelbyville, burning bridges, breaking the railroad, and capturing trains and stores, taking thence a south-west course across Duck river to Farmington, where another fight" was had, and the Rebels worsted by the fire of Capt. Stokes's battery, followed by a charge of infantry, and lost 4 guns, captured by Crook, though he was in inferior force. Wheeler got away during the night to Pulaski, and thence into North Alabama; making his escape across the Tennessee river, near the mouth of Elk; losing 2 more guns and his rear-guard of 70 men in getting over. Gens. Thomas and Crook estimate his loss during this raid at 2,000 men, mostly prisoners or deserters. Ours, mainly in prisoners, must have exceeded that number; while the Government property destroyed must have been worth millions of dollars. Roddy, who crossed” the Tennessee at Guntersville, threatening Decherd, retreated on learning that Wheeler had done so, and escaped without loss.
** Oct. 2. * Oct. 7.
Gen. Grant, having assumed” at Louisville command of his new department, telegraphed, next day, to Gen. Thomas at Chattanooga to hold that place at all hazards, and was promptly answered, “I will hold on till we starve.” Famine, not fire, was the foe most dreaded by the Army of the Cumberland, though it had a pretty rough experience of both. Proceeding forthwith to Chattanooga, the new commander found” Gen. Hooker's force concentrated at Bridgeport, preparing to argue with Bragg our claim to supply our forces at Chattanooga by means of the river and the highway along its bank, instead of sending every thing by wagons across the mountains on either side of the Sequatchie valley—a most laborious and difficult undertaking, which left our men on short rations and starved many of our horses. It is computed that no less than 10,000 horses were used up in this service, and that it would have been impossible, by reason of their exhaustion and the increasing badmess of the roads caused by the Autumn rains, to have supplied our army a week longer.
Grant proceeded, the day after his arrival, accompanied by Thomas and
Brig.-Gen. W. F. Smith, chief engineer, to examine the river below Chattanooga with reference to crossing. It was decided that Hooker should cross at Bridgeport with all the force he could muster, advancing directly to Wauhatchie in Lookout valley, menacing Bragg with a flank attack. So much was to be observed and understood by the enemy. But, while his attention was fixed on this movement, and on the march of a division, under Gen. Palmer, down the north bank of the river from a point opposite Chattanooga to Whiteside, where he was to cross and support Hooker, a force was to be got ready, under the direction of Smith, and, at the right moment, thrown across the river at Brown's ferry, three or four miles below Chattanooga, and pushed forward at once to seize the range of hills skirting the river at the mouth of Lookout valley, covering the Brown's ferry road and a pontoon bridge to be quickly thrown across the ferry; thus opening a line of communication between our forces in Chattanooga and Hooker's in Wauhatchie, shorter and better than that held by Bragg around the foot of Lookout mountain. Hooker crossed, unimpeded, on the 26th; pushing straight on to WAUIIATCHIE, which he reached on the 28th. Meantime, 4,000 men had been detailed to Smith ; of whom 1,800, under Brig.-Gen. Hazen, were embarked on 60 pontoon-boats at Chattanooga, and, at the word, floated quietly down the river during the night of the 27th, past the Rebel pickets watching along the left bank, and, landing on the south side, at Brown's ferry, seized the hills over
* Oct, 11.
** Oct. 18.
* Oct. 23.