swollen to an unwonted height, is falling rapidly, while our columns are seeking, and will probably find, crossings, which will enable them to strike their retreating columns, already forced from the Pelham route across the mountains to the interior and more distant one by Decherd. Will advise you by mail as events occur.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Estell Springs, near Tullahoma, Tenn., July 4, 1863.
Your dispatch of this morning* is received. Our movement commenced on 24th of June. Have driven Bragg from his entrenched positions at Shelbyville and Tullahoma. Either of them is stronger than Corinth. Have pursued him through the mountains. Incessant rains and the impassable state of the roads alone prevented, us from forcing him to a general battle. Sheridan's division occupied Cowan yesterday at 3 p.m. The enemy has retreated toward Bridgeport and Chattanooga. Every effort is being made to bring forward supplies and threaten the enemy sufficiently to hold him. As I have already advised you, Tullahoma was evacuated Tuesday night. Our troops pursued him, and overtook his train at Elk River. He burned the bridge. In that operation our losses in killed and wounded will not exceed 500. The loss of the enemy may be safely put at 1,000 killed and wounded, 1,000 prisoners, 7 pieces of artillery, 500 or 600 tents. The country is filled with deserters from the Tennessee troops, and it is generally thought a very large portion of these troops will never leave their native State. Nothing but most stringent coercion can detain them. It is impossible to convey to you an idea of the continuous rains we have had since commencement of these operations or the state of the roads. I pray God that every available soldier may be sent to me, and that our arms may be successful against Lee. He should be destroyed.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
Honorable E. M. STANTON.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND.
Winchester, Tenn., July 24, 1863.
GENERAL: For the information of the General-in-Chief and the War Department, I respectfully submit the following report of the preliminaries and operations which resulted in driving the rebels out of Middle Tennessee, from the occupation of Murfreesborough, a point 212 miles from the nearest point of supplies:
To enable this army to operate successfully in advance of this position, it was necessary, first, to establish and secure a depot of supplies at this point, and, second, to organize an adequate cavalry force to combat that of the enemy, protect our own line of communication, and take advantage of the enemy should he be beaten or retreat.
The depot was established and in a defensible condition by the 1st of May, as has been reported, but the inferior numbers of our cavalry and the scarcity of long forage wore out our cavalry horses faster than we could replace them, and it was not before the 15th of June that we had brought what we had into available condition.
The General-in-Chief has been informed of the reasons why an advance was not deemed advisable until all things were prepared.
*Announcing defeat of General Lee at Gettysburg.