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g would suffice but for us to reach it with the main Army. Wheeler and Iverson having thus thoroughly crippled the Federal cavalry, I determined to detach all the troops of that arm I could possibly spare, and expedite them, under the command of Wheeler, against Sherman's railroad to Nashville; at the same time, to request of the proper authorities that General Maury, commanding at Mobile, be instructed to strike with small bodies the line at different points, in the vicinity of the Tennessee river, and also that General Forrest be ordered with the whole of his available force into Tennessee for the same object. I intended General Wheeler should operate, in the first instance, south of Chattanooga. I was hopeful that this combined movement would compel Sherman to retreat for want of supplies, and thus allow me an opportunity to fall upon his rear with our main body. I expressed this hope in a dispatch of August 2d, to President Davis. In reply thereto, and I presume also to
eaten the road at Stevenson, and the bridge across the Tennessee river, at Bridgeport, that Sherman would be compelled still move on his rear. If the former, I shall move to the Tennessee river, via Lafayette and Gadsden. I leave near Jacksonville Blue Mountain Railroad; by rapid marches to cross the Tennessee river at Gunter's Landing, and again destroy the enemy's com. I here determined to advance no further towards the Tennessee river, but to select a position and deliver battle, since Shhich is his chief object. If he ventures north of the Tennessee river, I may venture in that direction, and endeavor to get ine of retreat; but thus far he has not gone above the Tennessee river. General Thomas will have a force strong enough to premore than forty-eight hours, when I shall move for the Tennessee river. J. B. Hood, General [no. 36.]October 20th. Lio instruct Forrest to join me as soon as I crossed the Tennessee river. To this proposition I acceded. After he had held a
days rations in the haversacks and wagons, we marched, on the 22d of October, upon all the roads leading from Gadsden in the direction of Guntersville, on the Tennessee river, and bivouacked that night in the vicinity of Bennetsville. I here received information that General Forrest was near Jackson, Tennessee, and could not reahnson's Division, which held possession of Florence, was reinforced the same day by Clayton's Division. Thus the Confederate Army rested upon the banks of the Tennessee one month after its departure from Palmetto. It had been almost continuously in motion during this interim; it had by rapid moves and manoeuvres, and with only or a pitched battle. It is now in excellent spirits, and confident. Before leaving Gadsden, I urged on General Beauregard to send General Forrest across the Tennessee river. This he ordered; and I intended, when leaving Gadsden, to cross the river at or near Gunter's Landing. Finding, however, when I reached that vicinity, that
ssions to our ranks in Tennessee. The following letter from Governor Isham G. Harris, written during the retreat and at the time the Army was approaching the Tennessee river, will indicate to what extent our ranks would have been recruited, had the campaign proved successful: Tuscumbia, Alabama, December 25th, 1864. his Excellency, Jefferson Davis. Sir:--I arrived here last night, leaving the Army some fifteen miles beyond the Tennessee river, on the Bainbridge route. Our stay in Tennessee was so short, and engagements so constant and pressing that we did not recruit to any considerable extent. If we could have remained there a few weeks longer Major General Carter L. Stevenson then assumed command of Lee's Corps, and ably discharged his duties during the continuance of the retreat to and across the Tennessee river. Major General Walthall, one of the most able division commanders in the South, was here ordered to form a rear guard with eight picked brigades together w
I met at this place a thorough supply of shoes and other stores. I determined to cross the Tennessee river at or near Gunter's Landing, and strike the enemy's communications again near Bridgeport, fal Forrest. From Pulaski I moved by the most direct road to the Bainbridge crossing on the Tennessee river, which was reached on the 25th, where the Army crossed without interruption, completing theis cavalry and three corps of infantry to Pulaski, and with cavalry between Pulaski and the Tennessee river. After crossing the river the Army moved by easy marches to Tupelo, Mississippi. Our pontessee reports less than three hundred (300) desertions during the whole Tennessee campaign. The Tennessee troops entered the State with high hopes as they approached their homes. When the fortunes rps were then in front of Decatur. On the night of the 29th I received orders to cross the Tennessee river at Florence, Alabama. By means of the pontoon boats, two brigades of Johnson's Division we