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[485] they had gained during the last campaign and save Middle Tennessee. Forrest and Morgan alone could not dispute the possession of this rich country with Rosecrans; if he was allowed to advance once more as far as the positions he had occupied in the month of July, the central point of Chattanooga would again be menaced, and the armies which covered the Alleghanies on one side, and the course of the Mississippi on the other, would no longer have been able to support each other. Bragg, therefore, determined to transfer the scene of the forthcoming campaign as near Nashville as possible. Leaving Kirby Smith in East Tennessee, he led the remainder of his army to Chattanooga, and thence to Murfreesborough. He established his headquarters and principal depots in this village, extending his camps on the right and left of the railroad from Caneville to Eagleville. He thus made sure of giving effective support to Morgan and Forrest, who were only waiting his instructions to attempt new raids along the line of the Federal railroads. He threatened Nashville at the same time, and held himself in readiness to move forward to separate from Kentucky that portion of Grant's army which Price had vainly sought to dislodge from Corinth. Meanwhile, his troops went into winter quarters, where they at last found the rest they so much needed. Polk's corps occupied the centre of the Confederate positions; that of Hardee extended to the left; while the extreme right was covered by Kirby Smith, who had come from East Tennessee by the Knoxville and Nashville turnpike, and had sent one of his two divisions, under McCown, to join Polk's troops. The cavalry, which was closely pressing the Federal pickets, was thus distributed: the two independent corps of Morgan and Forrest, one on the extreme right, and the other on the extreme left; Wheeler's and Wharton's brigades, which were not separated from the main army, along his front, one at Lavergne and the other at Nolensville.

We shall leave the army in this position for a moment, to follow once more the bold troopers who had already rendered it such essential service. Their task, on this occasion, was the more important because the Federal cavalry, remounted, reorganized and commanded by an energetic officer, General Stanley, had undertaken to relieve Rosecrans' army from that kind of investment

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