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[294] in your own behalf, as the Department here could do no more than refer you to its resources within your reach and control.

It will give me much pleasure, General, to have your views in full on this subject, in all its bearings, and no effort will be spared in bringing to your assistance the resources of the Government not essential at other points.

Communicate fully at once, and afterward in detail, as points may arise requiring action.


As invited at the conclusion of this letter, I expressed “my views” both by telegraph and mail, without delay; and still more fully by the intelligent officer who had brought the plan of campaign to me from Richmond.

The telegram, dispatched in an hour or two, was in these words, addressed to General Bragg:

Your letter by Colonel Sale received. Grant is at Nashville; Sherman, by last accounts, at Memphis; where Grant is, we must expect the great Federal effort; we ought, therefore, to be prepared to beat him here; he has not come back to Tennessee to stand on the defensive; his advance, should we be ready for it, will be advantageous for us; to be ready, we must have the troops you name immediately, otherwise we might be beaten, which would decide events; give us those troops, and if we beat him, we follow; should he not advance, we will then be ready for the offensive; the troops can be fed as easily here as where they now are.

The letter referred to was addressed also to General Bragg on the same day:

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