Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 21ST.—The President was called out of church yesterday, and was for three hours closeted with the Secretary of War and Gen. Cooper. It appears that the enemy were occupying Bristol, on the line between Virginia and Tennessee, with seven regiments, and Carse’s brigade was ordered (by telegraph) to reinforce Gen. S. Jones. But to-day a dispatch from Gen. Jones states that the enemy had been driven back at Zollicoffer, which is beyond Bristol. This dispatch was dated yesterday. It is unintelligible.

            But to-day we have a dispatch from Gen. Bragg, announcing a great battle on the 19th and 20th insts. He says, “after two days’ engagement, we have driven the enemy, after a desperate resistance, from several positions; we hold the field, but the enemy still confronts us. The losses on both sides are heavy, and especially so among our officers. We have taken more than twenty guns, and 2500 prisoners.” We await the sequel—with fear and trembling, after the sad experience of Western victories. The Secretary of War thinks Longstreet’s corps had not yet reached Bragg; then why should he have commenced the attack before the reinforcements arrived? We must await further dispatches. If Bragg beats Rosecrans utterly, the consequences will be momentous. If beaten by him, he sinks to rise no more. Both generals are aware of the consequences of failure, and no doubt it is a sanguinary field. Whether it is in Georgia or over the line in Tennessee is not yet ascertained.

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