A couple of reports indicate that Bragg is fortifying south of Chattanooga, although apparently he’s spread pretty thin — from Knoxville to Rome, GA is over 150 miles. Rosecrans is still finding places to cross the Tennessee River.
Stevenson, Ala., August 26, 1863-8.30 p. m.,
(Received 12.15 p. m., 27th.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Returned this morning at 2 o’clock from examination of the river at Shellmound, 26 miles from here, with a view to [choice of*] crossings. No further change in position of corps since my last.
Enemy moving troops up Lookout Valley. They are fortifying at Chattanooga, and guarding all the fords up to Blythe’s Ferry.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
LARKINSVILLE, August 26, 1863.
General J. A. GARFIELD:
An orderly sergeant, Fifth Arkansas, deserted and left Chattanooga the 16th, and reports that Bragg commenced evacuating Chattanooga on the 14th instant, moving all his baggage. He states that Bragg is forming his new defense with his right resting on Knoxville, commanded by General Buckner, and comprising about 25,000 men, and the left of his line at Rome, Ga., Wheeler’s cavalry being at the latter place. Forrest is reported to be crossing into West Tennessee with his whole force. He also reports the army in and around Chattanooga as being in a demoralized condition, and both officers and men asserting that they will not follow General Bragg any farther, as they regard their case as hopeless. He also reports four companies of Union [men] formed at Sand Hill, waiting the crossing of our army to join it.
E. M. McCOOK,