repairs on the railroad are complete we shall again be in good condition. Have been greatly embarrassed by the condition of the means of transportation and the lines of communication.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, December 1, 1863.
GENERAL: The following operations of the Army of the Cumberland since October 31 are respectfully submitted to the General-in-Chief:
As soon as communications with Bridgeport had been made secure, and the question of supplying the army at this point rendered certain, preparations were at once commenced for driving the enemy from his position in our immediate front on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, and, if possible, to send a force to the relief of Knoxville. To enable me to dislodge the enemy from the threatening position he had assumed in our front guns of a heavier caliber than those with the army were needed, also additional means for crossing the Tennessee River. Brigadier-General Brannan, chief of artillery, was directed to send for the necessary number of guns and ammunition, and after consulting with Brigadier General W. F. Smith, chief engineer, to prepare the batteries for the guns on their arrival. While awaiting the arrival of the guns and ammunition, work was prosecuted on the fortifications around the town. In addition to his duties of superintending the work on the fortifications, General Smith pushed vigorously the construction of tow pontoon bridges, to be used in the execution of the movements which were determined upon as necessary to a successful dislodgment of the enemy.
Guerrillas having become somewhat troublesome to the northeast of McMinnville and east of the Caney Fork of the Cumberland, Brigadier-General Elliott, chief of cavalry, was ordered, November 14, to establish his headquarters with the First Division of Cavalry at or near Alexandria, and employ the division in hunting up and exterminating these marauders. Elliott reached Alexandria on the 18th, and on the 27th reports that his scouts met those of Burnside on Flint Ridge, east of Sparta, and that Lieutenant-Colonel Brownlow, with detachments from the First East Tennessee and Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, attacked the rebel Colonel Murray on the 26th at Sparta, killing 1, wounding 2, and capturing 10 of the enemy, including a lieutenant of Champ. Ferguson's; he also captured a few horses and some ammunition, and destroyed extensive salt-works used by the rebels. A company of scouts, under Captain Brixey, also encountered a party of guerrillas near Beersheba Springs, capturing 15 or 20, and dispersing the rest.
Brig. General R. S. Granger reports from Nashville, November 2, that--
A mixed command, under Lieutenant-Colonel Scully, First Middle Tennessee Infantry, sent out from Nashville, attacked and defeated Hawkins and other guerrilla chiefs, and pursued them to Centreville, Hickman County, where Hawkins made another stand, attacking our forces while crossing the river. Hawkins was again routed, and pursued until his forces dispersed. Rebel loss from 15 to 20 killed and 6 prisoners; our loss 1 severely and several slightly wounded.