War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0659 Chapter XXII. ACTION AT WEST BRIDGE, ALA.

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The series of events thus related have excited the utmost indignation of a terrified people, and no abuse, whether of a personal or official bearing, has been spared me. Aware, as I am, that all the troops under your command were required at other points, and that you expected the approach of the enemy to be retarded in this quarter mainly by the destruction of the bridges, I shall endeavor to endure this storm of obloquy with such equanimity as may be vouchsafed to me.

On Saturday morning the enemy set fire to the West Bridge, at Bridgeport, and it was wholly destroyed. Soon after they evacuated the place precipitately, and at the last advices from Stevenson were hastening their departure from that point.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER,

Brigadier-General.

Major H. L. CLAY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

May 12, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded. The small railroad bridge (connecting Chattanooga with the coal mines) referred to in the within report was immediately reconstructed, and trains are now passing over it.

E. KIRBY SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

Knoxville, Tenn., April 29, 1862.

Be sure that you blow up or effectively burn the bridge before the enemy get to it. The farther side should be burnt by all means.

H. L. CLAY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Brigadier General D. LEADBETTER,

Chattanooga, Tenn.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

Knoxville, Tenn., April 30, 1862.

GENERAL: The major-general commanding has been called off to Cumberland Gap in consequence of on attack on that point. He directs that you make the best defense in your power along the line of the Tennessee River. Troops have been ordered up from Georgia to re-enforce you. He thinks that if all the boats on the river are secured and a force displayed on this side the enemy will not venture to attack.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. CUNNINGHAM,

Acting Aide-de-Camp.

Brigadier General D. LEADBETTER,

Commanding Troops, Chattanooga, Tenn.