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[397] these two corps. It required, in effect, thirty-seven miles of marching over mountain roads to pass from McCook's corps to Thomas's, and, to crown the opportunity for a swift stroke, Thomas's two advanced divisions were separated by Lookout Mountain from the rest of his corps.

This was the brilliant opportunity which General Bragg lost with his eyes open. With full knowledge of the false position of Thomas's two divisions on the very evening of the day they reached it, he gave orders for an attack on the 10th, which should have crushed them. This attack did not take place on the 10th, through causes which may, perhaps, be accepted as unavoidable; but the enemy was good enough to wait in his false position till after eight o'clock of the morning of the 11th. During three hours of daylight on that morning these two divisions lay at the mercy of 30,000 Confederates.

Can it be denied that the Confederates ought to have been ready to attack at daybreak? The whole of the day and night of the 10th had been allowed for preparation. Why were they not hurled to the attack at dawn on the 11th, why not at six o'clock, why not at seven? The answer to these questions must, I fear, condemn General Bragg as a commander.

Some one has said that the final object of all the machinery of the British Constitution is to get twelve men into a jury box. So we may say that all the art of war lies in bringing three men to your enemy's one upon the decisive point. Here the combination had been ingeniously prepared, the great problem of the art of war had been solved, 30,000 men stood ready to fall upon 10,000; the blow had only to be delivered, thirty minutes would have sufficed to strike it home. Oh, for an hour of Stonewall Jackson's inspired energy! The uplifted arm never descended, the blow was never struck. At about half past 8 Negley had taken alarm, and it was not till five o'clock in the afternoon that the Confederates made a feeble demonstration upon an enemy now wide awake, retired from the plain and firmly lodged in the mountain pass.

The loss of the whole of the 10th may perhaps be set down to the accidents of war. The loss of the precious morning of the 11th must certainly be imputed to the commander. General Bragg seemed to know always what ought to be done, to possess the decision and the will to order it to be done, but, by some strange lack of gift, where so many gifts abounded, he could not do it himself and he could not make others do it. Thus was frittered away a brilliant opportunity. But fortune now offered another.

On the night of the 12th Bragg knew that Crittenden's corps was

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