HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
August 25, 1863-8 a. m.
The courier line is now established from here to headquarters Twenty-first Corps, at Dunlap.
J. J. REYNOLDS,
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 14TH ARMY CORPS,
Foot of Mountain, Anderson Road, August 25, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the Cumberland:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that no material changes have taken place since my last report. Three deserters from the Sixteenth Tennessee, Cheatham's division, Polk's corps, swam the river at Lookout Mountain last night, and report that Polk's corps is lying in the rear of Chattanooga and along the base of Lookout Mountain. Hill's corps is said to be at Harrison's Landing and stationed along the river up as far as Loudon. The fords above here are all fortified and guarded. Bate's brigade is at Harrison's Landing guarding the ford. These deserters state that a large number of old wagons are piled up in rear of Chattanooga, preparatory to burning. They are taking away south everything of the least value-even taking down the church bells. These men deserted because they became satisfied that Bragg was making preparations to retreat. Bragg himself is reported to be at Atlanta. They have no force of any consequence at Bridgeport. Our observations from this side, so far as we are able to judge, corroborate these statements.
I will shell the town as soon as our ammunition comes up, so as to draw their fire to discover the number of their guns. We have made them believe that our force is at least 10,000 strong. They worked all last night fortifying opposite the mouth of Chickamauga. They evidently believe we will try to cross the river in the vicinity of Harrison's Landing. I think they will try to defend the line of the river above here, making Lookout Mountain their line on the left, being at the same time prepared to run if outflanked.
I am, sir, very respectfully, yours to command,
J. T. WILDER,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
August 25, 1863-1 p. m.
Chief of Staff, Stevenson:
I telegraphed you this morning at 6; since when have received your dispatches via McMinnville. Van Cleve's guide reports a steamer went up to Blythe's Ferry on 22nd ; confirms activity in digging on east side of river with the view of making a stand at Blythe's Ferry to prevent crossing to Cleveland on railroad. Bragg removing his commissary stores from Chattanooga to Atlanta; driving cattle, horses, and hogs out of the country; cutting down the