War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0041 Chapter XLIII. THE CHATTANOOGA-RINGGOLD CAMPAIGN.

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HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Chattanooga, November 23, 1863.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,

Commanding Army of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: The truth or falsity of the deserters who came in last night, stating that Bragg had fallen back, should be ascertained at once. If he is really falling back, Sherman can commence at once laying his pontoon trains, and we can save a day.

Very respectfully,

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,

Camp opposite Chickamauga, November 23, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Chattanooga:

DEAR GENERAL: I received your letter at the hands of Captain Audenried, and immediately made the orders for the delay of twenty hours. I need not express how I left, that my troops should cause delay, but I know Woods must have cause, else he would not delay. Whitaker's and Cruft's troops fill the road, doubtless, and it must be a ditch full of big rocks. But Ewing is up, and if possible Woods or Osterhaus (for I got an orderly in the night announcing that he had overtaken and would resume command to-day) will be also. But in any event we will move at midnight, and I will try the Missionary Ridge to-morrow morning, November 24, in the manner prescribed in my memorandum order for to-day. I will use the Second Division in place of the First as guide, and Jeff. C. Davis' division will act as reserve, and bring me forward the artillery as soon as the bridge is put down. I will try and get out at least six guns in the first dash for the hills.

As you ask for positive information, I answer: No cause on earth will induce me to ask for longer delay, and to-night at midnight we move. What delays may occur in the pontoons I cannot foretell. I will get Jeff. C. Davis to make some appearances opposite Harrison, to make believe our troops are moving past Bragg to interpose between him and Longstreet.

Every military reason now sanctions a general attack. Longstreet is absent, and we expect no more re-enforcements, therefore we should not delay another hour, and should put all our strength in the attack.

Yours, truly,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 23, 1863.

Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: General Thomas to-day advanced his lines about 1,200 yards, carrying the enemy's first line of rifle-pits, and now occupied Orchard Knoll, in front of Fort Wood, and the rifle-pits and range of hills to the right of it. He will fortify and hold the ground thus