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[394]

On the 30th of October, Buell was relieved from command by the President. He had doubtless committed more than one mistake; but as the government had restored him his command at Louisville, it could not allege any serious cause for depriving him of it at the moment when he had just delivered Kentucky from the invasion of the enemy. The coincidence between his dismissal and that of his friend McClellan attracted much comment at the North. Rosecrans, who had just distinguished himself around Corinth, as we shall relate hereafter, was placed at the head of the troops lately under Buell's command. At first he merely continued the movement commenced by the latter in the direction of Nashville. On the 7th of December this city was occupied by several divisions; the remainder of the Union army was posted en echelon along the line of railroad in the neighborhood of Gallatin, and as far as Bowling Green. The partisan Morgan had also re-entered the State through the mountains of West Virginia, after having surprised on the 12th of October a small Federal garrison in the town of Augusta, on the banks of the Ohio. Winter had set in, and Bragg took up his quarters between Murfreesborough, MacMinnville and Chattanooga. The two adversaries were destined to remain stationary and inactive till the end of December.

The campaign just ended had been commenced two months and a half before by the march of Bragg, who, passing to the left of Buell, had first compelled the latter to hasten to the defence of Nashville, and then to follow him into Kentucky. During this time Kirby Smith, crossing the Cumberland Mountains, had defeated the new Federal levies at Richmond, and occupied the greater part of Kentucky. Bragg, placed between Buell and the Northern States, could have compelled him to fight; but satisfied with the capture of Munfordsville, he had opened to him the road to Louisville by proceeding himself toward Lexington. The second part of the campaign began on the 1st of October. Buell, resuming the offensive, concentrated his army in the vicinity of Perryville. On the 8th of October, Bragg, attacking him with only three divisions, surprised his right wing and defeated it, but failed in his efforts against the Federal centre. The retreat of the Confederates, which only ended at Chattanooga, was for them a disappointment

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