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[408] his adventures, and protesting that the telegraphic blazon which appeared at the nick of time of his having just arrived at Toronto, was “purely fortuitous,” and that “his escape was made entirely without assistance from any one outside” the prison — an assertion not needed to incite and justify a strong presumption that the fact was otherwise. Thence, he returned to service in East Tennessee; where he was killed the next year.

Gen. Rosecrans's remaining inactive at Murfreesboroa till late in the Summer of 1863 was dictated by imperative necessity. His supplies were mainly drawn from Louisville, far distant, over a single railroad, traversing a semi-hostile country, and requiring heavy guards at every depot, bridge, and trestle, to save it from destruction by Rebel raiders or incendiaries. Though his army was stronger than that which confronted him under Bragg, its cavalry was weaker;1 as had been proved at Stone river, and in other collisions. Though his best efforts were given to strengthening it, he could hardly obtain horses so fast as they were worn out or lost through the superior activity, vigor, or audacity, of the Rebel partisans, Forrest, Wheeler, and Morgan. But, at length — Morgan having departed on his great raid into the Free States, and Rosecrans having obtained, since Winter, about 6,000 beasts of burden, partly by impressment — he felt justified in giving the order to advance.

Of Bragg's infantry, 18,000, under Bishop Polk, held a very strong position, formidably intrenched, at Shelbyville, where over five miles of earthworks had been constructed, mainly by the labor of 3,000 slaves, drawn from Alabama and Georgia. Behind this, 18 miles distant, and behind a difficult mountain region, traversed by bad roads, carried for miles through gorges so narrow that two wagons could scarcely pass, was another intrenched camp at Tullahoma: Hardee's corps, 12,000 strong, at Wartrace, on the right of Shelbyville, covering the railroad and holding the mountain gaps in its front. Beside these, Bragg had a division under Buckner, at or near Knoxville and Chattanooga. Perhaps 40,000 was the extent of the force he would be able to concentrate for a battle; while Rosecrans had not less than 60,000; but then, if the former fell back, destroying the railroads and bridges, he would naturally be strengthened; while Rosecrans, protecting his communications, would be steadily becoming weaker.

Rosecrans advanced2 with intent to flank the enemy's right, concentrating on Manchester, and thence menacing his communications below Tullahoma in such manner as to compel him to come out of his strongholds and fight a battle on ground which gave him no advantage. To do this, it was necessary to deceive Bragg by a feint of assaulting him in his works at Shelbyville; thus compelling him to concentrate and uncover the difficult mountain passes on his right, through which our main advance must be made. And, on the day

1 Halleck, in his report, says he sent Rosecrans no more horses, because he could not obtain forage for those he already had. Rosecrans responds that there was forage enough in the country; yet his horses suffered for it, because his cavalry was not strong enough to go out and get it. It is not necessary to add that his is the better reason.

2 June 24.

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