FIRST Brigadier FOURTH DIV., FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Opposite Chattanooga, September 5, 1863- 5 p.m.
Two deserters just in. They left Savannah, Ga., one month ago, and joined Cheatham's division. They reported Johnston's troops, except one regiment, went directly toward Knoxville upon arriving. Polk's corps still at Chattanooga. Large force near Tyne's Station and Harrison; a brigade of cavalry near Chickamauga bridge. They burst a 32-pounder shelling us on the 22nd August. I am trying to destroy their pontoons with shells, with indifferent success. At moving baggage up Walden's Ridge for safety in case they cross to-night, which seems probable.
J. T. WILDER,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Poe's Tavern, September 5, 1863.
I learned this morning of two sets gunwales. I appropriated one set, and will have a boat large enough for a team and the largest field piece done by to-morrow. After hunting all day for the other set I learned this evening that Carter had reported them to your pioneer officer. One boat of the size I will make-70 feet-is all I will need. You can find lumber about farm-houses. Try and get ready by day after to-morrow.
W. B. HAZEN,
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 14TH ARMY CORPS,
September 5, 1863-7 p.m.
Lieutenant Colonel R. L. KIMBERLY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: I have the honor to report that my battery threw some thirty shells at the pontoon-bridge that is moored to the landing at Chattanooga, all laid ready to swing across the stream. We succeeded in sinking two of the pontoon-boats, but there is a reserve of several in the water near by. All of the small flat-boats that were at the landing when we first arrived are taken away. We suppose they are in the mouth of Chattanooga Creek, where a great deal of pounding was going on last night.
There appears to be more camp-fires back of Chattanooga than every before. Nothing would be easier than for the rebels to ferry a force across the river at the base of Lookout Mountain, as their artillery completely covers the long promontory below Chattanooga formed by the bend in the river, and if they could throw their whole army between Burnside and Rosecrans, on the north side of the river, they would compel both to fall back without a battle, and perhaps with the loss of their communications and a quantity of supplies, leaving them in a country destitute of rations. This is, however, only speculation, with a possibility of its being accomplished. I have sent my caissons and baggage up the mountain to-night, so as to be prepared for anything.