CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, December 1863-7 p.m.
(Received 1.40 a.m., 8th.)
Our losses in killed, wounded, and missing in recent battle about 4,000. Enemy's loss in killed about the same. We took over 6,000 well prisoners, forty-two pieces of artillery, and caisson and battery wagons for a large number of pieces. Number of small-arms collected about 5,000. Many have, no doubt, been collected by regiments and not accounted for.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In Field, Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 23, 1863.
COLONEL: In pursuance of General Orders, Numbers 337, War Department, of date Washington, October 16, 1863, delivered to me by the Secretary of War at Louisville, Ky., on the 18th of the same month, I assumed command of the Military Division of the Mississippi, comprising the Department of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee, and telegraphed the order assuming command, together with the order of the War Department referred to, to Major General A. E. Burnside, at Knoxville, and to Major General W. S. Rosecrans, at Chattanooga. My action in telegraphing these orders to Chattanooga in advance of my arrival there, was induced by information furnished me by the Secretary of War, of the difficulty with which the Army of the Cumberland had to contend in supplying itself over a long mountainous and almost impassable road from Stevenson, Ala., to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and his fears that General Rosecrans would fall back to the north side of the Tennessee River. To guard further against the possibility of the Secretary's fears, I also telegraphed to Major-General Thomas on the 19th of October, from Louisville, to hold Chattanooga at all hazards; that I would be there as soon as possible. To which he replied on same date, "I will hold the town till we starve."
Proceeding directly to Chattanooga, I arrived there on the 23rd of October, and found that General Thomas had immediately, on being placed in command of the Department of the Cumberland, ordered the concentration of Major-General Hooker's command at Bridgeport, preparatory to securing the river and main wagon road between that place and Brown's Ferry, immediately below Lookout Mountain. The next morning after my arrival at Chattanooga, in company with Thomas and Brigadier General W. F. Smith, chief engineer, I made a reconnaissance of Brown's Ferry and the hills on the south side of the river and at the mouth of Lookout Valley. After the reconnaissance, the plan agreed upon was for Hooker to cross at Bridgeport to the south side of the river with all the force that could be spared from the railroad, and move on the main wagon road by way of Whiteside's to Wauhatchie, in Lookout Valley. Major General J. M. Palmer was to proceed by the only practicable route north of the river from his position opposite Chattanooga to a point on the north bank of the Tennessee River and opposite Whiteside's there to cross to the south side to hold the road passed over by Hooker.
In the meantime, and before the enemy could be apprised of our intentions, a force under the direction of Brigadier General W. F. Smith,