War of the Rebellion: Serial 052 Page 0513 Chapter XIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Dalton by that route. My present camp is on the old Cleveland and Jacksonville. Ala., road running 5 miles east of La Fayette. I learn from citizens and deserters that the bulk of the rebel force have gone toward Rome. Have not heard what force is at Dalton. I will expect further orders to-night. My men have three days' rations with them. My wagon train is with General Hazen at House's camp-ground, 5 miles in my rear. I have learned nothing from Colonel Minty as yet. I have sent parties to the front and on both flanks, who have not yet reported. We have a very large rebel mail, which we are now opening; over 1,000 letters.

I am, sir very respectfully, yours to command,

J. T. WILDER,

Colonel, Commanding.

8 p. m.

We have not yet been able to find General Palmer. I have delayed this to find out. Please forward this to Chattanooga yet to-night. I am satisfied from all I can learn from the mail, citizens, deserters, and negroes that Bragg has gone, with his main army, to Rome.

Very respectfully, &c.,

J. T. WILDER,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION,

September 10, 1863-12 m.

Major-General PALMER:

Scouting party just in from Ringgold. No enemy there. The rear guard of Scott's cavalry passed through the place about dark, going out on the La Fayette road toward Rome. The people say the rebels have been retreating through Ringgold for a week past. The command is under orders to march at daylight. Shall I take the route first indicated, or shall I go some other? Do you move to Dalton? I am ordered to keep in communication with you and operate on your left flank.

J. T. WILDER,

Colonel, Commanding.

HDQRS. FIRST DIV., TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,

September 10, 1863-7.30 p. m.

Captain P. P. OLDERSHAW,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

CAPTAIN: I took a contraband this evening who tells the following story:

He says General Bragg was at Gordon's Mills at 12 m. to-day. He says he knows General Bragg very well, by sight, having seen him frequently. He says the troops that had marched on that road toward La Fayette yesterday marched back toward Chattanooga this morning, and the soldiers said they were going back to Chattanooga. He says there were many soldiers and many cannon with them.

I do not give this narrative because I think it of great importance

33 R R-VOI XXX, PT III