through the gaps of Lookout Mountain, the former toward Summerville and the latter toward La Fayette, while Crittenden had marched to Ringgold. The enemy have, however, unexpectedly appeared in force on the south bank of the Chickamauga, on the road hence to La Fayette, while a force of from 10,000 to 20,000, debouching westward through Catlett's Gap, attacked Negley in front of Stevens' Gap yesterday afternoon and compelled him to fall back to the gap. Last night it seemed probable that Bragg had abandoned his retreat on Rome and returned with the purpose of falling upon the different corps and divisions of our army, now widely separated by the necessity of crossing the mountains at gaps far apart, and destroying them in detail. The indications of this morning are that he was merely making a stand to check pursuit, the attack on Negley appearing to have been stopped as soon as he fell back. Crittenden is now ordered to move from Ringgold to his own right flank, and should have had his main body at the Chickamauga crossing on the La Fayette road by 10 a.m. to-day. This is the place where his right wing found the enemy in force yesterday. Thomas has sent Brannan to help Negley, who will thus renew this advance from Stevens' Gap toward Dug Gap in Pigeon Mountain, while Thomas himself, with the remainder of his corps, putting himself into communication with Crittenden, will advance toward Catlett's Gap. McCook at the same time is to rest his left flank on the southern base of Mission Ridge and, extending his line toward Summerville, fall on the flank of the enemy should he follow the valley that way.
It is probable, however, that before these dispositions are completed he will have got east of Pigeon Mountain and made good his escape to Rome. This region is composed of long mountains with few practicable passes. It is above 30 miles from the head of Lookout Mountain to the first gap, for instance. The roads are worse than those over any other mountains in the country; not impassable, but very destructive to wagons. The valley are narrow, irregular, and bare of corn and cattle. [Rosecrans] thinks, however, that he will be able to find forage a short distance ahead. Two million rations now remain to be drawn from Stevenson depot.
[C. A. DANA.]
[Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.]
CHATTANOOGA, September 13-7 a.m.
General disposition of troops remains as yesterday. Crittenden has concentrated his corps at Gordon's Mills, where the road hence to La Fayette crosses the West Chickamauga, and is near enough to Thomas for either to open when the other is attacked, though they have not yet opened communication with each other, the enemy's cavalry being in possession of the intervening part of the valley.
At the latest reports received last night the enemy was still in force in front of Crittenden, though he did not seem to have a distinct idea in what force. Crittenden had some unimportant skirmishers during yesterday. Thomas reported last night that he had moved from Stevens' Gap toward Dug and Catlett's Gaps, finding no enemy, his scouts and citizens all stating the rebels had withdrawn to La Fayette to make a stand there. This being true, Crittenden