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General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 36: strategic importance of the field. (search)
careful inspection told us that the army was in better health and better heart than the other armies of the district. Before leaving General Foster, General Grant ordered him on the receipt of the clothing to advance and drive us at least beyond Bull's Gap and Red Bridge. And to prepare for that advance he ordered the Ninth and Twenty-third Corps to Mossy Creek, the Fourth Corps to Strawberry Plains, and the cavalry to Dandridge. The Union army-equipped-marched on the 14th and 15th of January. The Confederate departments were not so prompt in filling our requisitions, but we had hopes. The bitter freeze of two weeks had made the rough angles of mud as firm and sharp as so many freshly-quarried rocks, and the poorly protected feet of our soldiers sometimes left bloody marks along the roads. General Sturgis rode in advance of the army, and occupied Dandridge by Elliott's, Wolford's, and Garrard's divisions of cavalry and Mott's brigade of infantry. The Fourth and Tw