September 6, 1863: Sheridan says Bragg is retreating

Gen. Philip Sheridan

Nobody on the Union side seems to believe that Bragg is going to use his pontoon bridge to attack across the Tennessee. Rather, Sheridan and Hazen both are convinced he’s headed south to Atlanta.

Official Records:

Near Trenton, September 6, 1863-10.30 a.m.
Brigadier-General GARFIELD,
Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: I sent a scout out yesterday over the Lookout Mountain. He returned this morning. The following is the information
he brings: There are two divisions at Chattanooga. Bragg, Johnston, and Breckinridge are at the tunnel, 10 miles south of Chattanooga, with the rest of the forces. Last night they sent 100 cavalry with axes to close up Stevens’ Gap, encamping 800 cavalry on opposite side. Mounted men were sent to all the gaps at Winston’s; all bridle-paths are also being blockaded. The general feeling is that Bragg will fall back to Atlanta, where extensive preparations are being made. There is also a force placed at Rome. The enemy is feeding all the corn they can on the opposite side of the mountain to prevent our getting it, and driving off all the cattle.

I am, general, very respectfully,
P. S.-I will go into camp at Crawfish Creek this evening so as to close up the column, and repair wagons.


In Tennessee Valley, at Poe’s, September 6, 1863- 6 a.m.
Lieutenant Colonel C. GODDARD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.:

The enemy at Chattanooga laid its pontoons yesterday, as if to cross. Forrest’s force suddenly appeared last evening at Igou’s, Harrison’s, and the other crossings, making displays of artillery and otherwise threatening the attempt to cross at all points. A deserter that came across near Chattanooga reported that Jackson’s brigade was ready to cross on the pontoons. I believe this to be only a feint while the army retreats.

The garrisons have been regularly relieved above, coming down the river, withdrawing their pickets, so there is nothing now above Thatcher’s. Minty had a man across at Blythe’s yesterday, and found nothing.

For perfect security, however, I have sent all heavy property on the hill, and have traced out every path by which a deer can climb the mountains this side of Pikeville; and can successfully prevent any crossing of them this side or at that place.
I have to report the most valuable and efficient co-operation upon the part of cavalry-Wilder’s and Minty’s.
I am, respectfully,


This entry was posted in Braxton Bragg, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, John C. Breckinridge, Joseph Johnston, Philip Sheridan, Tennessee, William Rosecrans. Bookmark the permalink.

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