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e to the West; and once securely lodged in its almost impregnable fastnesses, their ejection would be practically impossible. General Garnett--an old army officer of reputation and promisewas already in that field, with a handful of troops from the Virginia army; among them a regiment from about Richmond, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Pegram. The Federals, grasping at once the full importance of this position, had sent to meet this demonstration an army under General McClellan, with Rosecrans commanding the advance. There had been no collision, but its approach could not be long delayed; and the South wanted men. In this posture of affairs, General Wise received his commission and orders. The old politician donned his uniform with great alacrity; called about him a few of the best companies of Richmond, as a nucleus; and went to work with all the vim and activity expected by those who knew him best. The Richmond light infantry Blues --the oldest company in Richmond, comm
, and early in August had been followed by General John B. Floyd--the ex-U. S. Secretary of War. These two commanders unfortunately disagreed as to means and conduct of the campaign; and General R. E. Lee was sent to take general command on this-his first theater of active service. His management of the campaign was much criticised in many quarters; and the public verdict seemed to be that, though he had an army of twenty thousand men, tolerably equipped and familiar with the country, Rosecrans out-maneuvered him and accomplished his object in amusing so considerable a Confederate force. Certain it is that, after fronting Lee at Big Sewell for ten or twelve days, he suddenly withdrew in the night, without giving the former even a chance for a fight. The dissatisfaction was universal and outspoken; nor was it relieved by the several brilliant episodes of Gauley and Cotton Hill, that General Floyd managed to throw into his dark surroundings. It is hard to tell how much fou
into an advance. The Federals now held West and Middle Tennessee, and they only needed control of East Tennessee to have a solid base of operations against Northern Georgia. Once firmly established there, they could either force their way across the state and connect with their Atlantic seaboard fleets; or could cut the sole and long line of railroad winding through the Confederate territory; thus crippling the whole body by tapping its main vital artery, and causing death by depletion. Rosecrans, with an army of between forty and fifty thousand men, was lying in Nashville, watching and waiting the moment for his telling blow. This was the posture on Christmas, 1862. Three days after the enemy struck-heavily and unexpectedly. The first intimation General Bragg had of the movement was cavalry skirmishes with his advance. These continued daily, increasing in frequency and severity until the 30th of December, when the contending armies were near enough for General Polk to hav
power. Meantime General Bragg, at Tullahoma, faced by Rosecrans and flanked by Burnside's Army of the Cumberland, was forced to fall back to Chattanooga. Rosecrans pressed him hard, with the intent of carrying out that pet scheme of the North, fssential here to recount the details of these movements. Rosecrans had a heavy and compact force; ours was weak and scattere this day. General Bragg's friends declare that he forced Rosecrans to the position; his enemies, that Rosecrans first out-geRosecrans first out-generaled him and then laid himself open to destruction, while Bragg took no advantage of the situation. However this may b the state and the Georgia frontier, the failure to press Rosecrans at the moment left him free communication with his rear a at the North declared that loss of command should reward Rosecrans for loss of the battle; and, in mid-October, he was superarmy, after the howl that went up on his failure to press Rosecrans. On his return, the President appeared satisfied and hop