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[381] junction lost nearly all its importance in consequence of Bragg's error, of which Buell had skilfully availed himself. The Union general, making a circuit to westward, had followed a road parallel to that which his adversaries had just marched over; his vanguard, which had left Prewitt's Knob on the 21st, were four days in advance of his rear, it having been found necessary to move his divisions en echelon, in order to subsist them upon the resources of the country. Once across Salt River, Buell had forcibly drawn near the positions occupied by Polk's troops, less than forty kilometres from the Ohio; and it was within this narrow space between a large river on the left, and an enemy admirably posted for attacking his right flank, that Buell's whole army had defiled without being molested; on the 25th his vanguard had entered Louisville; on the 29th the whole army was reunited there.

A new campaign was about to begin. The Federal government and the people of the North had set everything in motion to stop Bragg's victorious march and reconquer Kentucky. Buell found in Louisville volunteers flocking from all the Western States, and a considerable detachment of Grant's army, hastily sent over from Corinth. These reinforcements swelled the army of the Ohio to nearly one hundred thousand men; and notwithstanding the diversity of the constituents thus brought together, this army was reorganized by the 30th of September. The transportation service was sufficient for a new advance, the baggage had been lightened, and the new recruits had as far as possible been brigaded with regiments composed of experienced soldiers. The active army numbered about sixty-eight or seventy thousand men, nearly thirty thousand of whom had recently enlisted, and was divided into three corps, under the command of McCook, Crittenden and Gilbert. Each corps comprised three divisions, formed of two or three brigades, with two or three batteries of artillery and some cavalry, forming an effective total of eighteen to twenty-two thousand men. On the very day he was to begin his march Buell was relieved from command, and the President designated Thomas as his successor. But the latter declined, and pleaded so earnestly in behalf of his chief that Buell was reinstated in the command. These orders and counter-orders caused the loss

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