This Day in Georgia Civil War History
August 31, 1863
Military Movements around Chattanooga Reported
The Richmond Times Dispatch reprinted a report from an Atlanta newspaper on the military movements around Chattanooga; it was clear a major battle was imminent.
Of the military situation on the Tennessee river enough has transpired to leave no doubt that Rosecrans is now making an important movement. Corresponding movements are also on foot among our own forces, of which, of course, we are at liberty to say but little. The Atlanta Confederacy, of Wednesday last, says: Chattanooga is well nigh deserted by its inhabitants. The Yanks, we learn, have crossed at Bridgeport in considerable force and are slowly advancing. Yesterday (Tuesday) morning our forces were in line-of-battle to meet them, but it is believed that no general engagement will take place for a day or two. The Yanks do not leave their supports at Bridgeport and push forward rapidly - showing they are not ready for an engagement. We learn that they have already commenced rebuilding the immense railroad bridge at that point, which was partially destroyed by Bragg when he brought his force this side of the river. They have material now on hand, ready for putting up a complete duplicate of the entire bridge. They will, if let alone, have the bridge ready for cars to pass over in a week or two. We further learn that the Yanks made an attempt on Monday to cross the river at Harrison, above Chattanooga some 20 miles, but were repulsed after a brisk fight of several hours. Their object, no doubt, is to strike the State road at Chickamauga and Ringgold, as well as flank Bragg on his right by crossing at Harrison, and to come on his left flank by their forces from Bridgeport. From their having been repulsed at Harrison and not repulsed at Bridgeport, it would seem to be Bragg’s plan to allow them to cross at the latter place and give them battle when they come away from the river, but to prevent their crossing above. We feel confident that a great battle will come off near Chattanooga in a few days, and we feel confident of a great victory. We will not give our reasons for this letter just now, further than the confidence which everybody has in the invincibility of our men in Bragg’s army. Suffice it to say that we are not uneasy nor alarmed at the prospect of the expected collision. If our information is correct, it is working right.