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[359] of cavalry were successively sent to the enemy's rear, with instructions to destroy as much as possible of the railroad between that river and Dalton. All failed, because too weak. We could never spare a body of cavalry strong enough for such a service; for its assistance was indispensable in holding every position defended by the army. Captain Harvey, an officer of great sagacity and courage, on account of which he was selected by Brig.-Gen. W. H. Jackson, was detached, with a hundred men, on the 11th of June, and remained several weeks near the railroad, frequently interrupting, but too weak to prevent its use. Early in the campaign, the accounts of the number of cavalry in Mississippi given by Lieutenant-General Polk, just from the command of that department, and my correspondence with his successor, Lieutenant-General S. D. Lee, gave me reason to believe that an adequate force to destroy the railroad communications of the Federal army could be furnished in Mississippi and Alabama, under an officer fully competent to head such an enterprise-General Forrest. I therefore suggested the measure to the President, directly on the 13th of June and 10th of July; and through General Bragg on the 3d, 12th, 13th, 16th, and 26th of June; also, to Lieutenant-General Lee on the 10th of May, and 3d, 11th, and 16th of June. That officer promised, on two occasions, to make the attempt. But, in each case, the troops that were to have been employed were diverted from that object to repel a Federal raid into Mississippi. I made these suggestions in the strong belief that this cavalry would serve the Confederacy far better by contributing to the defeat of a formidable invasion, than

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