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[686] could furnish food. On that account, Brigadier-General Roddy was ordered, with about three-fourths of his troops, from Tuscumbia to Dalton, and arrived at the end of February. On the second of April, however, he was sent back to his former position by the Secretary of War.

On the fifteenth and sixteenth of January, Baldwin's and Quarles' brigades returned to the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, to which they belonged. His Excellency Joseph E. Brown added to the army two regiments of State troops, which were used to guard the railroad bridges between Dalton and Atlanta.

On the seventeenth of February the President ordered me, by telegraph, to detach Lieutenant-General Hardee, with the infantry of his corps, except Stevenson's division, to aid Lieutenant-General Polk against Sherman in Mississippi. This order was obeyed as promptly as our means of transportation permitted.

The force detached was probably exaggerated to Major-General Thomas--for on the twenty-third the Federal army advanced to Ringgold — on the twenty-fourth drove in our outposts — and on the twenty-fifth skirmished at Mill Creek Gap, and in the Crow Valley east of Rocky Face Mountain. We were successful at both places. In the latter, Clayton's brigade, after a sharp action of half an hour, defeated double its number. At night it was reported that a United States brigade was occupying Dug Gap, from which it had driven our troops. Granbury's Texan brigade, returning from Mississippi, had just arrived. It was ordered to march to the foot of the mountain immediately, and to retake the Gap at sunrise next morning, which was done.

In the night of the twenty-sixth the enemy retired.

On the twenty-seventh of February I suggested to the Executive by letter, through General Bragg, that all preparations for a forward movement should be made without further delay. In a letter, dated fourth of March, General Bragg desired me “to have all things ready at the earliest practicable moment for the movement indicated.” In replying, on the twelfth, I reminded him that the regulations of the War Department do not leave such preparations to commanders of troops, but to officers who receive their orders from Richmond.

On the eighteenth, a letter was received from General Bragg, sketching a plan of offensive operations, and enumerating the troops to be used in them under me. I was invited to express my views on the subject. In doing so, both by telegraph and mail, I suggested modifications, and urged that the additional troops named should be sent immediately, to enable us, should the enemy advance, to beat him, and then move forward; or should he not advance, do so ourselves. General Bragg replied by telegraph, on the twenty-first: “Your despatch of nineteenth does not indicate acceptance of plan proposed. Troops can only be drawn from other points for advance. Upon your decision of that point further action must depend.”

I replied, by telegraph, on the twenty-second: “In my despatch of nineteenth, I expressly accept taking offensive — only differ with you as to details. I assume that the enemy will be prepared for advance before we are, and will make it, to our advantage. Therefore I propose, both for offensive and defensive, to assemble our troops here immediately.” This was not noticed. Therefore, on the twenty-fifth, I again urged the necessity of reinforcing the Army of Tennessee, because the enemy was collecting a larger force than that of the last campaign, while ours was less than it had been then.

On the third of April Lieutenant-Colonel A. H. Cole arrived at Dalton to direct the procuring of artillery horses and field-transportation, to enable the army to advance.

On the fourth, under Orders 32 of 1864, I applied to the chief of the conscript service for 1,000 negro teamsters. None were received.

On the eighth of April, Colonel B. S. Ewell, A. A. G., was sent to Richmond to represent to the President my wish to take the offensive with proper means, and to learn his views. A few days after Brigadier-General Pendleton arrived from Richmond to explain to me the President's wishes on that subject. I explained to him the modification of the plan communicated by General Bragg, which seemed to me essential — which required that the intended reinforcements should be sent to Dalton. I urged that this should be done without delay — because our present force was not sufficient even for defence — and to enable us to take the offensive, if the enemy did not.

On the first of May I reported the enemy about to advance. On the second, Brigadier-General Mercer's command arrived, about 1,400 effective infantry. On the fourth I expressed myself “satisfied” that the enemy was about to attack with his united forces, and again urged that a part of Lieutenant-General Polk's troops should be put at my disposal. I was informed by General Bragg that orders to that effect were given.

Major-General Martin, whose division of cavalry, coming from East Tennessee, had been halted on the Etowah to recruit its horses, was ordered with it to observe the Oostanaula from Resaca to Rome, and Brigadier-General Kelly was ordered with his command from the neighborhood of Resaca, to report to Major-General Wheeler.

The effective artillery and infantry of the Army of Tennessee, after the arrival of Mercer's brigade, amounted to 40,900; the effective cavalry to about 4,000. Major-General Sherman's army was composed of that of Missionary Ridge (then 80,000) increased by several recruits: 5,000 men under Hovey, the Twenty-Third (Schofield's) from Knoxville, and two divisions of the Sixteenth from North Alabama. Major-General Wheeler estimated the cavalry of that army as 15,000.

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