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Several railroad accidents delayed me in my journey to Chattanooga — the location for my headquarters chosen by the War Department-so that I did not reach that place until the morning of the 4th of December.

A telegram from General Cooper, found there, informed me that Lieutenant-General Pemberton was falling back before superior forces, and that Lieutenant-General Holmes had been “peremptorily ordered” to reenforce him; but that, as Lieutenant-General Holmes's troops might be too late, the President urged upon me the importance of sending a sufficient force from General Bragg's command to Lieutenant-General Pemberton's aid.

I replied immediately, by telegraph as well as by mail, that the troops near Little Rock could join General Pemberton sooner than those in Middle Tennessee; and requested General Bragg, by telegraph, to detach a large body of cavalry to operate in General Grant's rear and cut his communications. On the following day, the 5th, at Murfreesboroa, I again wrote to General Cooper by mail and by telegraph, giving him General Bragg's estimates of his own force and that of General Rosecrans, and endeavoring to show that he could not give adequate aid to General Pemberton without giving up Tennessee, adding, that troops from Arkansas could reach the scene of action in Mississippi much sooner than General Bragg's; and saying, besides, that I would not weaken the Army of Tennessee without express orders to do so. He was also informed that two thousand cavalry would be detached to break the Louisville and Nashville

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