of the Army of Tennessee, my personal friend, and an officer who had my full confidence, was therefore sent to Richmond
on the 8th, to endeavor to remove any misapprehension of the subject that might exist in his Excellency
He was instructed to show the President
that in my correspondence with the Government
I had not declined to assume the offensive — as General Bragg
charged-but, on the contrary, was eager to move forward whenever the relative forces of the opposing armies should justify me in such a measure; to point out the difference between the plan of operations proposed through General Bragg
and that which I advocated, and in that connection to explain that I had been actively engaged in preparations to take the field-those over which I had control being in a satisfactory state of forwardness.
But in the important element of field-transportation, the need of which had several times been represented to the Government
, and which I had neither means nor authority to collect, nothing had been done, while steps to collect the large number of artillery-horses necessary, had just been taken; and that the surest means of enabling us to go forward was to send the proposed reenforcements to Dalton
at once; then, should the enemy take the initiative, as was almost certain, we might defeat him on this side of the Tennessee
, where the consequences of defeat would be so much more disastrous to the enemy, and less so to us, than if the battle were fought north of that river.
He was also desired to say that, according to the best information we could obtain, the Federal