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[495] thus almost completely cutting off the supplies of Rosecrans's army. We occupied the entire south side of the river, from Lookout to Bridgeport; and as the latter place, with Stevenson, was supplied from depots at Nashville and Louisville by a single railroad, and the river road on the north side rendered unsafe by the unerring fire of our sharp-shooters, it necessitated the hauling of supplies by the enemy a distance of sixty miles over mountains, which placed the Federal army almost in a starving condition. But Grant, with heavy reinforcements, having in the meantime arrived and assumed command, and Longstreet having been detached to operate against Burnside in East Tennessee,1 began to put a new phase on the issue involved.

1 For the reasons for sending General Longstreet into East Tennessee, instead of General Breckinridge, see General Bragg's letter to me of February 8, 1873. Governor Benjamin G. Humphries, at that time commanding a brigade (Barksdale's) in General Longstreet's corps, once told me in the presence of General Stephen D. Lee, at the residence of Mr. James T. Harrison, that he concurred with General Bragg in attributing the capture of Lookout Mountain by Hooker to the disobedience of orders by Longstreet. General Bragg had ordered him to occupy Sand Mountain, I think it was, with a division and hold it at all hazards. Instead of placing a division there, which would have held it against the possible assaults of any force, he only sent one brigade (McLaws's or Jenkins's, South Carolina), and consequently not only was that position carried by Hooker, but it opened the way for him to join Grant in Chattanooga.

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February 8th, 1873 AD (1)
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