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Battles & Leaders of the Civil War

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EAST TENNESSEE AND THE CAMPAIGN OF PERRYVILLE

BY DON CARLOS BUELL, MAJOR-GENERAL, U.S.V.

THE invasion of Kentucky in the summer of 1862 by the Confederate forces under General Bragg was one of the most prominent incidents of the war; and both the officer who conducted it and the one who repelled it were the objects of much popular displeasure on their respective sides. On the one side there was severe condemnation of the withdrawal, and on the other unmeasured dissatisfaction that the invaders had not been captured in a body. Of course, there were in both cases numerous specifications to the general matter of complaint. With reference to the result, it must follow that the critics were wrong on one side or the other. It may even be that in the main, whatever may have been the incidental blunders, they were wrong on both sides: that is, that an invasion for a permanent occupation which lacked the support of the population, and was opposed by an army able and ready to contest the object, was wisely abandoned without further resistance; and that the contestant, in the presence of a skillful and not inferior adversary, wisely took his measures to make the result reasonably certain. The rashness of revolutionary ends might reject the former, but no rule of loyalty to the public welfare would condemn the latter.

In giving here a brief review of the subject-which properly includes the project for my advance into east Tennessee in the early summer-I shall undertake no more than a simple outline of the essential facts, and an exposition of the circumstances which controlled events.

The period immediately following the evacuation of Corinth, and lasting through the summer, found the Western armies in a less satisfactory state than at the first glance would be supposed. The early delusion of a ninety-days' campaign had not so completely passed away as not to give rise to disappointment in the ranks and among the people, at finding no signs in the


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