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[227] of his own military family, and the president, perhaps, comprehends satisfactorily the motives which influenced him at some of the most important periods of the campaign — notably, for instance, in permitting, without a battle, the escape of Buell and his army from Bowling Green.

It is then with General Kirby Smith's campaign that I shall mainly deal.

Through the kind offices of a gentleman, lately the chief of General Smith's staff, but then prostrated by a terribly broken limb, and, much to his mortification, so utterly disabled as to be unable to take part in the impending movements, I received an invitation to act as a volunteer on that staff.

I had seen some service with the army of Mississippi upon the staff of General John C. Breckinridge.

Depleted by disease, caused mainly by the want of water, which a little foresight should have provided, that army, as it is well known, was forced to retreat in the latter days of June, 1862, from Corinth all the way to Tupelo, and it was generally understood that no serious operations were likely to transpire in that quarter during the ensuing summer. “The greatest necessity of a soldier,” said Napoleon to O'Meara, “is water,” of which a true history of the Confederate army at Corinth would furnish a sad and disastrous illustration.

Delayed by a severe attack of fever, I did not reach Knoxville until the 15th of August. General Smith had already left to place himself at the head of the column, which was toiling at slow pace, but with indefatigable energy and in glorious spirits through the difficult, and by the enemy considered, for artillery at least, impracticable pass of Big Creek Gap, a few miles westward of the old road over the mountains at Cumberland Gap. Not a little annoyed at the prospect of the long and lonesome ride before me, to overtake General Smith, I was relieved when Colonel Brent, of Virginia, for some months a member of General Bragg's staff, but lately assigned to duty with General Smith, called at my room and proposed to join me. Like myself, he had reached Knoxville only that day. The proposition was of course joyfully accepted.

The officers left in charge of the post persuaded us to remain in Knoxville until an escort could be provided. Bushwhackers, native born white men of East Tennessee and Southeastern Kentucky, as savage and relentless, and nearly as ignorant, as any redskin of romance or of history, infested the country, waylaid the roads, and from mountain side and behind rock or bush shot down the unfortunates who,

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