CHATTANOOGA, January 5, 1863.
(Received January 6.)
General S. COOPER,
adjutant and Inspector General:
A telegram was sent to you this morning by General Bragg, announcing his retreat. I heard yesterday from so many sources O could not doubt it, and thought it right to give the information.
BENJ. S. EWELL,
ESTELL'S MILL, ON ELK RIVER,
January 5, 1863.
GENERAL: I am directed by General Bragg to report the condition of the crossing on Elk River. The roads, as seen in accompanying sketch,* diverge about 200 yards from the house of Mr. Vaughn. The left crossing, at Estell's Mill, is a good ford, and has about 3 feet of water. There will be no need of repairs at this crossing. On the righthand road, at Vaughn's, you will find a good ford with about 2 1/2 feet of water; but there is a short place before you get the ford (about 100 feet) which will need causewaying, to prevent miring the wagons. General Bragg directs that you send your sappers and miners to repair the lower ford, and divide your trains at Vaughn's and cross at both fords.
By command of General Bragg:
S. W. STEELE,
Captain and Acting Chief Engineer.
HEADQUARTERS WHARTON'S CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Eight miles Shelbyville, January 5, 1863-10 a. m.
Lieutenant General LEONIDAS POLK,
commanding Polk's Corps d'Armee, Army of Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have received your dispatch, and have sent it to General Wheeler. I don't know where General Wheeler is. I have sent a scout this morning to Murfreesborough, and I have three regiments on this pike within 10 miles of Murfreesborough. I have three companies on the Eagleville road; I have the balance of my command with me here. I sent general Buford with his command to the Eagleville pike this morning. I find difficulty to know what disposition to make of my forces, not knowing the movements of the army. You will please inform me what road you will retire by, and when. I inclose you a communication from Mr. White, + who is a relative of mine, and very reliable man.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
JNumbers A. WHARTON,
Brigadier-general, Commanding Cavalry.
* Sketch omitted as unimportant.
+ Not found.