Though severely shelled, they did not reply. They had none yesterday. I have no reason to believe, after close examination, that they have any to-day. I must report to Brigadier-General Steedman of the result of the firing immediately at its close. I give you briefly its result. The white house is in easy range; all the batteries on the hill-side but one are below it; that is, to the left as we front it. They have removed their cannon; they were field pieces; they can be easily replaced. From Captain Naylor's gun, Lieutenant Cox commanding, the enemy's camp can be easily shelled; they are in easy range with at 3 1/2-pounder gun. I had 2 shells burst right among them. This part of the camp is just where the road coming off Lookout Mountain makes the turn to come into Chattanooga. With a larger gun I can make their stay very unpleasant anywhere in front. It is only twelve seconds from the flash to the sound of the report from their big gun at the foot of the hill. It was windy when they were firing-the wind against us. This was the result: Several shots were fired at the white house; I think it was struck twice. It is a kind of a palatial resort for rebels. They have been seen around thick until our shells made it rather hazardous for comfort.
Aleshire has the signal station on Lookout under range. Yesterday his third shot gave a double-quick impetus to what was left of the signal party. To-day his second shot imparted similar action. Both shells were percussion and exploded direct on the point. This was done at a 6-degree elevation. I had been advised by the chief of artillery that a shell could not be sent there. I was skeptic enough to think otherwise. If it is desired, they shall not signal from that point without erecting works.
The ammunition of Captain Naylor is very defective. One-half of his shells did not explode. Several exploded in 20 feet of the gun. That of Captain Aleshire is somewhat better, but both are defective. No lights on the mountain last night; none night before. I can easily try them with a small party from above Williams' Island. Shall I feel them? I have sent full reports to the general commanding the division, and will with pleasure carry out the orders sent to-day.
W. C. WHITAKER,
HDQRS. THIRD BRIG., FIRST DIV., RESERVE CORPS,
Tullahoma, Tenn., October 9, 1863.
Captain S. B. MOE,
Asst. Adjt. General, First Division Reserve Corps:
CAPTAIN: Our brigade occupies its former position, except that Manchester, and all the posts between Duck River and Murfreesborough have been evacuated by them. The company at Stone's River, Nineteenth Michigan, and the company at Christiana, Eighty-fifth Indiana, were surrounded and captured. It seems that Wheeler, with the main part of his army, about 10,000 men, went up to take Murfreesborough and found it full of troops. He turned west, took Stone's River brigade, and Christiana, and went to Shelbyville, pursued by Mitchell, who fought him beyond there, 3 miles, killing and wounding perhaps 200 men.