Two deserters of the Thirty-fourth Alabama came in to-day and state that it is currently reported that Longstreet's corps from Lee's army is arriving, and that the rebels are going to dash through on the line indicated to invade the North. They also state that a cavalry force is stationed on South Chickamauga Creek, ready to ford the river at Friar's Island, covered by their artillery.
A courier just arrived from midway between Friar's and Chattanooga states that the infantry picket opposite is to-night relieved by a cavalry force. Ambulances have been busy to-day running between Chattanooga and the direction of Tyner's, as if disposing of their sick, preparatory to a move.
I have directed two companies to guard the road going down the river below Williams' Island, and in case we are compelled to fall back, they are to hold the road going to Sequatchie Valley. I have also two companies at Therman, in Sequatchie Valley, guarding some rations left there. I have sent one more company to the mouth of North Chickamauga as a reserve. My entire available force in the three regiments here, including all detached parties, is not over 1,200 effective men.
I am, sir, very respectfully, yours to command,
J. T. WILDER,
P. S.-I have forwarded your orders to signal officer.
SEPTEMBER 5, 1863-11.25 p.m.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Left Flank:
GENERAL: Three deserters from Nineteenth Tennessee swam the river at Williams' Island to-night. They state that Bragg has taken up a great deal of iron from the railroad switches in town; Breckinridge's division is the only force from Johnston's army yet here; Jackson's brigade, of Cheatham's division, is about to cross the river; rebels are active to-night working on the pontoons. These deserters believe that Bragg is making a feint to cover his retreat. This is believed by the people of Chattanooga generally.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. T. WILDER,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
I have ordered two pieces of artillery in position on Stringer's Hill, and hold the remaining four pieces in reserve at the forks of the road to Williams' Island.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS,
Near Winston's, September 5, 1863-6.30 p.m.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: Nothing new has occurred since my last dispatch to you. I am able to get no information of importance in regard to the movements of the enemy. I send herewith some valuable maps