Another bridge will soon be finished at Bridgeport. We have quite a fleet of flat-boats for ferriage at Shellmound (eight or ten). We have had possession of Shellmound and vicinity since the 22nd . Brannan is crossing at mouth of Battle Creek (his trains by Bridgeport). King's brigade is principally on the other side. He and Ray made a strong reconnaissance toward Chattanooga last night, from which I am expecting every moment to hear. Am crossing my ammunition train this morning. Our wagons nearly all go back to Stevenson for commissary stores. The order is to carry twenty-five day's rations and no forage from the time we leave the opposite side of the river. Whether it can be done we will see. No intimation where we march for when we leave the river bank. We have had possession of Trenton since yesterday morning. As I am informed, a brigade of cavalry holds it. Will cross my division here on our ferry as speedily as convenient. Can cross about 400 infantry per hour with ease. Seven or eight wagons, at least, can cross at a trip, occupying about twenty minutes. So we stand. Nothing definite except we are moving. You must work it out if you can. Should any point develop itself during the day, will notify you. In the mean time, as the New York Herald has it, "Watch and pray."
J. J. REYNOLDS.
Mail matter here for Twenty-first Corps will be forwarded this p.m.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 14TH ARMY CORPS,
In front of Chattanooga, August 31, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel C. GODDARD,
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that on yesterday I obtained a position which enabled me to observe fully the extent of the rebel works at Friar's Island. The river is about 650 yard wide, with an island in the middle. The water is about 3 feet deep, and quite rapid. The bottom of the river is hard gravel. The south bank is abrupt and about 30 feet high, with only two narrow roads to go up, one oat the ford and one at the ferry landing. At the ford is a threegun work with embrasures, flanked for 200 yards by breastworks. At the ferry landing is a breastwork about 100 yards long. On a hill one-fourth mile in the rear is an inclosed redoubt with three guns in position. Bate's brigade, of Stewart's division, is guarding the place. A camp of perhaps a division is about 5 miles south of the river, near Tyner's Station.
Mr. William Crutchfield, of Chattanooga, was notified to leave, and came over the river last night. He says it is currently reported in Chattanooga that Burnside has possession of Knoxville, and Buckner has fallen back to Loudon, and that Bragg has sent part of Hill's corps to Kingston to support Forrest. Wheeler is at Rome and Gadsden, on the Coosa River, watching for a move on our right. Johnston is to re-enforce Bragg with 15,000 men, two trains of which came in night before last; and last night several trains came in at 1 o'clock, supposed to be bringing troops. Mr. Crutchfield states that those who ought to know informed him that Johnston could not furnish more than 10,000 men.