War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0278 KY.,M. AND E.TENN.,N.ALA., AND SW.VA. Chapter XXVIII.

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on the particular occasion as that by the habitual neglect of discipline the orders of the commander were unavailing at a time when the observance of it might be of vital importance.

Colonel Turchin had been in command of the Eight Brigade for five months, and is fairly responsible for a state of discipline which has done injustice to the four fine regiments of which it was composed. The general inspected those regiments more than once about the time of the organization of the brigade. There were none in the army from which he expected better service, and he still has confidence that they will realize those expectations.

By command of Major-General Buell:

JAMES B. FRY,

Colonel and Chief of Staff.

HUNTSVILLE, ALA., August 7, 1862-5.45 p.m.

Major-General H. W. HALLECK:

Information from various sources is conclusive as to the concentration of a large force at Chattanooga with the alleged intention of advancing into East Tennessee and Kentucky. Report places the force as high as 90,000. My supposition is there may be 60,000 there and at Knoxville, but this is derived be deducting a percentage for exaggeration, for it is impossible to get any exact information. Of this force, 30,000 men would be from the Corinth army and the rest are Kirby Smith's force, and, say 15,000 or 20,000 new troops from Georgia and adjoining States. Some old troops have arrived from Pensacola and Mobile, stated at about 8,000. Bragg is in command and is preparing as if to cross the river. His plan be to advance in force from the river against my line or to threaten it and move a smaller column toward Nashville. I shall be prepared for either, and a few days will probably determine to what extent and in what way the plans of the enemy may affect my own. My whole effective force in Tennessee, exclusive of the column at Cumberland Gap, amounts to about 46,000 men. It requires five regiments, in detachments of from 30 men to one company, to guard bridges on the railroad this side of Nashville. I have about two brigades at Nashville and Murfreesborough; one between Columbia and Decatur; one at this place, and one at Stevenson and Bridgeport. The rest of my force is at Battle Creek, Tracy City, or Wartrace and McMinnville. These, amounting to about 31,000 men, can be concentrated centrally, say at Altamont, in about twenty-four hours. Thomas' division arrived at Decherd yesterday, and is included in the above. By abandoning the Nashville and Decatur road for the time and leaving only one regiment at this place I can increase the main force to 36,000 men for operations between McMinnville and Chattanooga. To do more than I must abandon more or less of my only remaining line of supplies. Of course that is only to be thought of in a last extremity, but if I cross the river the main force must probably be somewhat reduce, for Nashville must not be entirely uncovered, and our bridges must be well guarded against attack from this side. It is doubtful whether I could take more than 30,000 men across. The bridge ought to be laid at Bridgeport, though it would be better to have it at Kelley's Ferry if the roads and other circumstances were not less favorable. The lumber has been got out and my mechanics have been engaged since Monday in making pontoon boats, which will be ready in