War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0198 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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no time should be lost in pushing 20,000 to 25,000 efficient troops to Bridgeport. If such re-enforcements can be got there in season, everything is safe, and this place-indispensable alike to the defense of Tennessee and as the base of future operations in Georgia-will remain ours.

[C. A. DANA.]

[Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.]

CHATTANOOGA, September 23-1.30 p.m.

Enemy still slowly advancing three columns but no attack yet. Our rifle-pits are now strong and every preparation complete as possible considering shortness of time. Ammunition train of 50 wagons from Bridgeport has arrived increasing our supply materially.

Orders have been given to construct an interior line of defenses, so that 5,000 to 10,000 troops can hold the place and rest of army move wherever needed. This will probably be accomplished to-night.

Official report received from Burnside's advance, which was at Athens night before last. Mass of his forces far behind that place. [Rosecrans] advises [Burnside] to come here by road on the north side Tennessee River.

[C. A. DANA.]

[Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.]

CHATTANOOGA, September 23-2 p.m.

After careful study of the disaster to our right wing on Sunday, I am of opinion that it arose from the following causes:

First, great numerical superiority of the enemy.

Second the too great extent and consequent thinness of our line.

Third, and in its results the most fatal of all, the disobedience of orders of General McCook in placing his corps from one-third to one-half mile farther to the right than he had been directed, thus elongating the line still farther.

Fourth, the attempt of Rosecrans to re-enforce the left wing when Thomas reported it had been forced to fall back. In this attempt he necessarily had to move troops from the right, the whole reserve being already engaged. While this movement was taking place the enemy suddenly fell upon Davis as he was marching by the left flank. The attack was tremendous, and resulted in our rout. Sheridan who joined Davis on the latter's right, and formed the right extremity of our line, was also engaged in moving by the flank at double-quick time and in line of battle, when Davis broke. Sheridan had not time to halt, and attempted to convert his movement into a charge, but it failed, of course and his men became routed also. Had McCook taken the right place in the morning his movement to the left, passing over a shorter distance, would sooner have been completed and Davis and Sheridan would not have been taken in flank and routed. These two generals, however, remained and rallied their men, as did Van Cleve, who was almost as badly dissolved as they; but McCook and Crittenden, two corps commanders made their way