previous next

[206] them in rear. He was also drawing near Virginia, and could, in case of necessity, join Lee and Jackson, obviating, at all events, the necessity of their detailing troops to cover their lines on that side. The forces which had been dispersed in East Tennessee had been again assembled at Knoxville, under command of Kirby Smith; the garrison of Cumberland Gap had also evacuated this important post to join him. The army corps thus formed was ordered by Bragg to Chattanooga. Thanks to this reinforcenent, and to the numerous recruits which the new conscription law supplied him, Bragg saw his forces increased to forty-five thousand men; but the recruits had to be drilled before they could take the field. Satisfied, therefore, with having forestalled his adversaries and occupied the position he was so anxious to hold, the Confederate general awaited the issue of the great struggle that was going on around Richmond between Lee and McClellan.

Buell, on his part, did not seem to think of attacking him. After having reorganized his army, and put an end to the acts of pillage committed by the soldiers of Mitchell, who were scattered over too much ground to be closely watched, he extended his army in one long line from south-west to north-east, from Huntsville by way of Battle Creek to McMinnville, along which the railroad could easily bring his supplies. Keeping stationary in these positions, he made no efforts either to dispute the possession of Chattanooga with Bragg, or to intercept his communications with Knoxville. This was a serious negligence on his part, for by making a vigorous demonstration against the first-named city he could have prevented the turning movement by which, shortly after, his adversary compelled him to retire to the borders of the Ohio, and by menacing Kirby Smith in East Tennessee he would have made a diversion equally advantageous in a political and military point of view. The population of this district, strongly in favor of the Union, was, in fact, anxiously longing for the arrival of the blue coats, and chafing under the oppression of the Confederates. The railroad, passing through Knoxville, connected the armies of the east with those of the west; its loss would have increased the distance which separated them.

At last Buell's inaction emboldened his opponents, and Bragg resumed the offensive by sending some daring partisans upon his

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Braxton Bragg (4)
Kirby Smith (2)
R. E. Lee (2)
D. C. Buell (2)
Mitchell (1)
McClellan (1)
Stonewall Jackson (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: