20,000 but is mostly tending this way. Rosecrans' main force had obtained my left and rear. I followed and endeavored to bring him to action and secure my connections. This may compel the loss of Chattanooga, but is unavoidable.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
FIVE MILES SOUTH OF CHATTANOOGA, 10TH,
Via Dalton, September 11, 1863.
The enemy entered Chattanooga yesterday in force, driving out the small garrison I could leave behind. His main force in Will's Valley still threatens my rear, and compels me to follow on this side of the mountain. The difficulty of supplying the army in this mountainous region is very great, and may compel me to turn east to the railroad.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
LA FAYETTE, September 14, 1863.
We have so far failed to encounter the enemy in any force. Whenever we make our appearance he retires before us. His policy seems to be to avoid an engagement. We shall press him as long as able to subsist.
LA FAYETTE, September 15, 1863.
The enemy has retired before us at all points. We shall now turn on him in the direction of Chattanooga.
General S. COOPER.
TEN MILES SOUTH OF CHATTANOOGA,
September 21, 1863.
The enemy retreated on Chattanooga last night, leaving his dead and wounded in our hands. His loss is very large in men, artillery, small-arms, and colors. Ours is heavy, but not yet ascertained. The victory is complete, and our cavalry is pursuing. With the blessing of God our troops have accomplished great results against largely superior numbers. We have to mourn the loss of many gallant men and officers. Brigadier-Generals Preston Smith, Helm, and Deshler are killed; Major-General Hood and Brigadier-Generals Adams, Gregg, and Brown wounded.
[General S. COOPER.]