are said to have consisted of Polk's entire corps. They came through with resistless impulse, composed of brigades formed in divisions. Before them our soldiers turned and fled. It was wholesale panic. Vain were all attempts to rally them. They retreated directly across two lines of considerable ridges running parallel to our line of battle, and then most of them made their way over Missionary Ridge, and are coming here by Chattanooga Valley road. Our wagon trains have mostly got here already, and the road is full of a disordered throng of fugitives. McCook, with the right of his corps and Wilder's mounted infantry, attempted to recover the day, but it was useless. Davis and Sheridan are said to be coming off at the head of a couple of regiments in order, and Wilder's brigade marches out unbroken. Thomas, too, is coming down the Rossville road with an organized command, but all the rest is confusion. Our wounded are all left behind, some 6,000 in number. We have lost heavily in killed to-day. The total of our killed, wounded, and prisoners can hardly be less than 20,000, and may be much more.
How much artillery we lose I cannot guess, nor do I yet know what officers have been lost. Lytle said to be killed. Rosecrans escaped by Rossville road. Enemy not yet arrived before Chattanooga. Preparations making to resist his entrance for a time.
[C. A. DANA.]
[Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.]
CHATTANOOGA, September 20, 1863-8 p.m.
I am happy to report that my dispatch of 4 p.m. to-day proves to have given too dark a view of our disaster. Having been myself swept bodily off the battle-field by the panic-stuck rabble into which the divisions of Davis and Sheridan were temporarily converted, my own impressions were naturally colored by the aspect of that part of the field. It appears, however, that only those two divisions were actually routed, and that Thomas, with the remainder of the army, still holds his part of the field. Beside the two divisions of Davis and Sheridan, those of Negley and Van Cleve were thrown into confusion, but were soon rallied and hold their places, the first on the left, the second on the right of Thomas' fighting column. In addition to this Davis and Sheridan have succeeded in rallying some 8,000 or 10,000 of the fugitives, and have also joined Thomas. This corps, consisting, after all losses, of at least 30,000 men, has still further been strengthened by the addition of that portion of the reserve lately stationed at Rossville under Granger. It has changed its front from the nearly north-and-south line of this morning, and faces the enemy in an east-and-west line. It will at once fall back to the strongest line of defense, for the purpose of defeating enemy's design of regaining Chattanooga and the Tennessee.
The latest report from Thomas is that he was driving back the advance of the rebels. In addition to these forces we have the cavalry and mounted infantry, not less than 10,000 in number, who are perfectly intact, and with this army it is not difficult to make good our lines until re-enforcements can arrive. The cavalry at our last advices had their headquarters at Crawfish Spring, where they will perhaps be able to protect our main hospital until the wounded can
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