day and Thursday last, one of McLaw's brigades, to which Huntington belonged, having been withdrawn from Lookout Mountain on Wednesday night. The artillery of the corps was sent by way of Chickamauga Depot to Dalton and Cleveland, the direct Knoxville railroad not having been reopened. Hood's division encamped at Tyner's Station on Wednesday night, and it was well understood among the officers of the corps that they were going by way of Loudon to join Cheatham, and co-operate with a force from Lee's army on the east in driving Burnside out of East Tennessee.
A citizen of Loudon, who left that place on Monday last, reports to Thomas that Cheatham's force was collecting all the corn and cattle of the country and sending them south, and that Cheatham was about to move up the Sweet Water Valley, with a view to fording the Little Tennessee at Morganton.
Huntington says that there is now only one brigade on and about the head of Lookout Mountain, but they have four lines of intrenchments on the summit to defend the head of the mountain against assault by a force ascending Nickajack trace from Lookout Valley. The opinion prevails in Bragg's army that Thomas is about to fall back to Stevenson to procure supplies, and they regard our occupation of Lookout Valley as intended merely to secure out retreat. Bragg is giving thirty and forty day furloughs to men who bring in a certain number of recruits; convalescents are also brought up in considerable numbers.
The total force now under Bragg, Huntington estimates at 90,000 men, in better condition than is usual in that army.
Before receiving this information, Grant had ordered Thomas to execute the movement on Citico Creek, which I reported on the 5th, as proposed by Smith. Thomas, who rather preferred an attempt on Lookout Mountain, desired to postpone the operation until Sherman should come up, but Grant has decided that for the sake of Burnside the attack must be made at once; and I presume the advance on Citico will take place to-morrow morning, and that on Missionary Ridge immediately afterward. If successful, this operation will divide Bragg's forces in Chattanooga Valley from those in the Valley of the Chickamauga, and will compel him either to retreat, leaving the railroad communications of Cheatham and Longstreet exposed, or else to fight a battle with his diminished forces.
A dispatch from Sherman, received through Crook's cavalry last night, brought the intelligence he would be at Athens on the 5th.
Atlanta Appeal of the 3rd says if we are not dislodged from Lookout Valley our possession of Chattanooga is secure for winter.
[C. A. DANA.]
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
CHATTANOOGA, November 8, 1863-11 a.m.
Reconnaissance of Citico Creek and head of Missionary Ridge made yesterday by Thomas, Smith, and Brannan, from the heights opposite on the north of the Tennessee, proved Smith's plan of attack impracticable. The creek and country are wrongly laid down on our maps, and no operation for the seizure of Missionary Ridge can be undertaken with the force which Thomas can now