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[489] proportion as they felt stronger, pushed reconnaissances in the direction they intended to follow, as soon as their preparations were completed. On the 27th of November, Sill's division thus advanced as far as Lavergne, where it encountered some partisans, with whom it exchanged a few shots. Another engagement took place at the same point on the 9th of December. On the 12th, General Stanley, with some regiments of cavalry, surprised the Confederate pickets at Franklin, took possession of this village, and destroyed all the depots and mills which served to supply Bragg's army.

It was evident, however, to the Confederates that Rosecrans was about to undertake operations on a much larger scale. It was important to be prepared either to forestall him by assuming the offensive in advance of him, or, after waiting for him, to take advantage of a first success to hoist the Confederate flag in sight of the capitol of Nashville. Bragg's army received the recruits and materiel needed to repair the losses of the last campaign. It was placed under the chief command of an officer calculated to inspire entire confidence, and before whom Bragg himself bowed in unmurmuring submission, and who might perhaps have brought back victory to the Confederate side if his authority had not been more nominal than real. On the 24th of November, General Joseph E. Johnston, scarcely recovered from the severe wound he had received at Fair Oaks, was placed as commander-in-chief over Generals Bragg, Kirby Smith and Pemberton. He reached Murfreesborough on the 4th of December, where he established himself, leaving Bragg in immediate command of the troops. A few days later, the President came in person to visit the army in its cantonments and to raise its hopes. Confidence was then great, and no one doubted the final success of the Confederacy. Improvised festivities marked the presence of Davis in the midst of the army; the sufferings of the war were for a moment forgotten, and a large number of officers took advantage of this momentary lull to get married. Most conspicuous among them was the brilliant Morgan, still more admired since his exploit at Hartsville; and as if to impart a stronger tinge of romance to his union, he requested the nuptial benediction of Bishop Leonidas Polk, who, on this occasion, laid aside

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