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Doc. 23.-Bragg's address to his army.

headquarters Second corps, army of the Mississippi, Corinth, May 5.
Soldiers: You are again about to encounter the mercenary invader who pollutes the sacred soil of our beloved country. Severely punished by you, and driven from his chosen positions with a loss of his artillery and his honor at Shiloh, when double your numbers, he now approaches cautiously and timidly — unwilling to advance, unable to retreat. Could his rank and file enjoy a freeman's right, not one would remain within our limits; but they are goaded on under a tyrant's lash by desperate leaders, whose only safety lies in success.

Such a foe ought never to conquer freemen battling upon their own soil.

You will encounter him in your chosen position, strong by nature and improved by art — away from his main support and reliance — gun-boats and heavy batteries — and, for the first time in this war, with nearly equal numbers. The slight reverses we have met on the sea-board have worked us good as well as evil; the brave troops so long retained there have hastened to swell your numbers, while the gallant Van Dorn and invincible Price, with the ever-successful “Army of the West,” are now in your midst, with numbers almost equalling the “Army of Shiloh.” We have, then, but to strike and destroy, [117] and as the enemy's whole resources are concentrated here, we shall not only redeem Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri at one blow, but open the portals of the whole North-west.

Braxton Bragg, General Commanding Second Corps. G. C. Garner, Assist. Adjt.-General.

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