This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 its tribute to the fever climate of the banks of the Tennessee by the number of its sick. Furthermore, to the numerous convalescents which the miilitary hospitals were pouring into the Northern States were to be added many able-bodied men, who took advantage of the want of vigilancle on the part of inspectors, to go and breathe their native air under the pretext of sickness. The Confederates, on the contrary, owning to the strict application of the conscription law, were speedily filling the cadres of Bragg's army. In the beginning of August, a few days after Morgan's return, this army was entirely massed in the valley of the Tennessee. It was not able, however, to move at once, for want of sufficient means of transportation. This branch of the service, always so important and so difficult to organize in America, was, in fact, to be the principal resource of the great expedition prepared by Bragg. To enable him to undertake it, he required an enormous materiel; and the convoy which had left Tupelo in the middle of June, after the evacuation of Corinth, had been obliged to perform a long and tedious journey in order to rejoin him. The wagons, and even the artillery, being deprived of the resource of railways, drawn by jaded horses first across the swamps, then among the steep mountains, of North Alabama, were nearly two months in accomplishing the painful journey. At last everything was ready toward the middle of August. Kirby Smith, who occupied Knoxville with a strong division, was placed under Bragg's orders, who sent him the two splendid brigades of Cleburne and Preston Smith, thus swelling his forces to fifteen thousand men. Bragg himself was in the neighborhood of Chattanooga with the army of the Mississippi, numbering about forty-five thousand men of all arms, divided between his two former lieutenants, Polk and Hardee. The time for action had arrived; for in Virginia, Lee had again faced his soldiers toward Washington, and was about to attack Pope's army on the Rapidan. Along the whole of this immense line, laid out across the continent by the belligerents, the Confederates were resuming the offensive. Bragg's plan was simple and reasonable, and calculated to secure important results. His object was to throw himself upon Buell's left flank, to cut off his retreat by reaching Kentucky before him, and to establish himself there in
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.