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Battles & Leaders of the Civil War

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BRAGG'S ADVANCE AND RETREAT. (1)
BY DAVID URQUHART, COLONEL, C. S. A. ; MEMBER OF GENERAL BRAGG'S STAFF.

GI GENERAL BRAGG'S Kentucky campaign has drawn on him more criticism than any other part of his career as a military commander. During that memorable march I rode at his side from day to day, and it was his habit to confide to me his hopes and fears.
About the end of June, 1862, General Bragg was visited by many prominent citizens of Kentucky, who had abandoned their homes, and who assured him that Kentuckians were thoroughly loyal to the South, and that as soon as they were given an opportunity it would be proven. Fir ed with this idea, he planned his offensive campaign. On the 21st of July, 1862, the movement of the Army of Mississippi from Tupelo was ordered. The infantry moved by rail, the artillery and cavalry across the country. Headquarters were established at Chattanooga on the 29th. On the 30th Major-General Kirby Smith visited General Bragg at that point, and it was arranged that Smith should move at once against the Federal forces under General George W. Morgan in Cumberland Gap. In this interview General Bragg was very certain that he would begin his forward move in ten or fifteen days at latest, and if Kirby Smith was successful in his operation against Morgan he would be on his offensive against Buell. Kirby Smith took the field on the 13th of August, 1862. On the 28th, after some inevitable delays, Bragg crossed the Tennessee, his right wing, under Polk, 13,537 strong; the left wing, under Hardee, 13,763 strong,- total effective, 2 7,320 rank and file.

General Bragg by this time was deeply unpressed with the magnitude of his undertaking. He had lost faith somewhat in the stories that had been told him of Kentucky's desire to join the South, but he proposed to give the people a chance of so doing by the presence of Southern troops. At the same time he was resolved to do nothing to imperil the safety of his army, whose loss, he felt, would be a crushing blow to the Confederacy. He reached Carthage on the 9th of September. On the 12th he was at Glasgow, Kentucky, where he issued a proclamation to Kentuckians. About that time also the corps of Polk and Hardee were ordered to unite. Buell was now moving on Bowling Green from the south. On the 16th our army surrounded and invested Munfordville, and General Wilder, with its garrison of four thousand men, was forced to capitulate. General Kirby Smith, having found Morgan's position impregnable, detached a part of his forces to invest it ; and, advancing on Lexington, defeated the Federal forces encountered at Richmond, Ky. He was relying on an ear ly junction with General Bragg.

On the 17th of September Generals Polk and Hardee were called to a council at Munfordville. With the map and the cavalry dispatches outspread before him, General Bragg placed General Buell and his army in our rear, with Munfordville on the direct line of his march to Louisville, the

(1) see also articles by General Wheeler and General Buell, pp. 1 and 32.


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