sharpshooters posted on the south bank of the river at a place some 5 miles from here, where this road runs for a mile or so along the bank. It is true that we have here at Chattanooga one steamboat in good running order which can navigate the river with 27 inches water, and that another is nearly completed at Bridgeport which will run with 12 inches, and that flat-boats for towage have been prepared there. Could the river be used, 400 tons freight might daily be delivered here. But the same military error which gave the enemy control of the south shore between here and Bridgeport, and which is illustrated by the stoppage of our trains by sharpshooters, deprives us of the power of using our steamboats, and also prevents our rebuilding and using the railroad between here and Bridgeport. That error is the abandonment of Lookout Mountain to the rebels. Immediately after the retreat to Chattanooga, Rosecrans ordered the withdrawal of Spears' brigade, which held the head of the mountain, and the destruction of the wagon road which winds along its side at about one-third of its height and connects the valleys of Chattanooga and Lookout. Both
Granger and Garfield earnestly protested against this order and contended that the mountain and the road could be held by not more than seven regiments against the whole power of the enemy, whether he should attack from below or, passing up Stevens' Gap, make his approach by the road extending longitudinally upon the crest. There can, I think, be no question that they were right, but Rosecrans, who is sometimes as obstinate and inaccessible upon the crest. There can, I think, be no question that they were right, but Rosecrans, who is sometimes as obstinate and inaccessible to reason as at others he is irresolute, vacillating, and inconclusive, pettishly rejected all their arguments, and the mountain was given up. It is difficult to say which was the greater error, this order or that which on the day of battle created the gap in our lines. At any rate, such is our present situation; our animals starved and the men with starvation before them, and the enemy bound to make desperate efforts to dislodge us. In the midst of this the commanding general devotes that part of the time which is not employed in pleasant gossip to the composition of a long report to prove that the Government is to blame for his failure. It is my duty to declare that while few persons exhibit more estimable social qualities, I have never seen a public man possessing talent with less administrative power, less clearness and steadiness in difficulty, and greater practical incapacity than General Rosecrans. He has inventive fertility and knowledge, but he has no strength of will and no concentration of purpose. His mind scatters; there is no system in the use of his busy days and restless nights, no courage against individuals in his composition, and, with great love of command, he is a feeble commander. He is conscientious and honest, just as he is imperious and disputatious;
always with a stray vein of caprice and an overweening passion for the approbation of his personal friends and the public outside.
Under the present circumstances I consider this army to be very unsafe in his hands; but do know of no man except Thomas who could now be safely put in his place. Weather pleasant but cloudy.
[C. A. DANA.]
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
CHATTANOOGA, October 12-1 p.m.
A rebel deserter, who came in this morning, reports Jeff. Davis reviewed Bragg's army Saturday, riding through lines, but not ad-