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[299] but the Federals escaped, leaving their camp, wagons and stores, and a number of prisoners in Wheeler's care.

In reply to an inquiry from General Johnston he was informed by General Bragg, now acting as military adviser with office at Richmond, that he was desired to have everything in readiness for a forward movement at the earliest practicable moment, but a definite increase of his army, which Johnston requested, was not promised. General Johnston was furnished a plan of campaign by the war department, brought by Colonel Sale, General Bragg's military secretary, in which it appeared that the great result desired by the Confederate government was the reclaiming of the provision country of Kentucky and Tennessee, and an increase of the army by recruits. To aid in taking the offensive there would be sent him 5,000 men from Polk and 10,000 from Beauregard, as soon as he was ready to use them, giving him a total strength, including Longstreet's corps, of 75,000. In acknowledging the receipt of this plan of campaign, Johnston declared that he expressly accepted taking the offensive, but wanted his full strength assembled first.

At this juncture Lieut.-Gen. U. S. Grant was assigned to the duties of commander of the armies of the United States, Maj.-Gen. William T. Sherman to command of the military division of the Mississippi, and Maj.-Gen. James B. McPherson to command of the department of the Tennessee; Maj.-Gen. George H. Thomas retaining his position as commander of the department and army of the Cumberland. From Washington, Grant wrote to Sherman a private and confidential letter, saying: ‘I propose for you to move against Johnston's army, to break it up and to get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as you can, inflicting all the damage you can against their war resources.’ About the same time Sherman received a map marked to show the contemplated movements, indicating that he was expected to advance to Atlanta, and thence to Savannah. On April 24th he reported that he

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