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[267] of that army is encouraging, and induces me to hope that you will soon be able to commence active operations against the enemy.

The reports concerning the battle at Missionary Ridge show that our loss in killed and wounded was not great, and that the reverse sustained is not attributable to any general demoralization or reluctance to encounter the opposing army. The brilliant stand made by the rear-guard at Ringgold sustains this belief.

In a letter written to me soon after the battle, General Bragg expressed his unshaken confidence in the courage and morale of the troops. He says: “We can redeem the past. Let us concentrate all our available men, unite them with this little army, still full of zeal, and burning to redeem its lost character and prestige-hurl the whole upon the enemy, and crush him in his power and his glory. I believe it practicable, and that I may be allowed to participate in the struggle which may restore to us the character, the prestige, and the country, we have just lost. This will give us confidence and restore hope to the country and the army, while it will do what is more important, give us subsistence, without which I do not see how we are to remain united.”

The official reports made to my aide-de-camp, Colonel Ives, who has just returned from Dalton, presented a not unfavorable view of the material of the command.

The chief of ordnance reported that, notwithstanding the abandonment of a considerable number of guns during the battle, there was still on hand, owing to previous large captures by our


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