A greater sacrifice, the evacuation of East Tennessee--the citadel of the Confederacy-was, perhaps, necessary.
But retreat, continued too far, would degenerate into flight, and bring speedy ruin.
After the safe withdrawal of his army from Tullahoma to the new line south of the Tennessee, Bragg's chief object would be to delay Judah and Burnside — the latter especially-and to retard their advance and junction with Rosecrans until after reinforcements he was expecting from Virginia should arrive.
He even hoped that circumstances might be so ordered as to prohibit a part of these forces, at least, from appearing in season for the decisive battle he intended to deliver.
In this strategic emergency he saw no means of diverting the attention of the enemy, and of securing the much-needed time for the consummation of his plans, save by an energetic use of his cavalry.
While vigorously pushing Rosecrans' outposts with the divisions of Martin and Wharton, in accordance wit