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fall back upon Nashville, thus enabling General Bragg, by rapid marches, to get between him and Louisville, and compel him to give battle in the open field with a retreating army.
Thus in the enormous fruits by which success was followed, as well as in conception and execution, is this campaign entitled to rank among the really brilliant campaigns of modern war. Let but General Bragg accomplish, as there is good prospect of his doing, the overthrow of Buell's army, and Kentucky is secured — Grant must evacuate North Mississippi and come to the defence of the line of the Ohio, while Van Dorn, crossing with his army into Arkansas, might soon be able, with the assistance of the troops already there, to drive the Federals from Missouri, and reoccupy every inch of Southern territory.
If the accomplishment of all this was not looked forward to with entire confidence, it was, at least, regarded as possible, and even probable.
How these brilliant prospects faded away and came to nought