War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0592 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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me to assume a decided stand at Murfreesborough the main body of the army was thrown forward to a line with that point as a center. The cavalry, with the exception of the brigades of Forrest and Morgan, was posted well forward toward the enemy's lines near Nashville, by which his sphere of operations on this side the Cumberland was much contracted and his attempts at foraging were rendered almost fruitless. My intention of cutting his communications in rear, which would seriously embarrass him during the low stage of the Cumberland, was indicated to you in my report from Tullahoma previous to moving forward to Murfreesborough. In the execution of this design I observed as little delay as possible. As soon as practicable after the brilliant affair at Hartsville Brig. General John H. Morgan crossed the Cumberland with his command and moved by forced marches to Northern Kentucky, so as to strike the enemy where distance and long repose had lulled him into a sense of security. For the brilliant and successful execution of his instructions General Morgan has again won the admiration and gratitude of his country and Government. For the details of his movements and achievements I respectfully refer you to his official report.

In accordance with the same general plan, which included a diversion in favor of our army in Mississippi, then heavily pressed by General Grant, I ordered Brig. General N. B. Forrest to proceed with his brigade of cavalry to West Tennessee and operate upon the enemy's communications in that direction. His command was composed chiefly of new men, imperfectly armed and equipped, and in his route lay the Tennessee River which had to be crossed by such means as could be hastily improvised. His reports attest the excellent bearing of his troops and show the results of his expedition to have been most brilliant and decisive. The enemy, in consequence of this vigorous assault in a quarter vital to their self-preservation, have been compelled to throw back a large force from Mississippi and virtually to abandon a campaign which so seriously threatened our safety. The loss of Forrest, though considerable, is small in comparison with the results achieved and that of the enemy. The details of his operations will be found in his inclosed reports. He has received my thanks and deserves the applause of his Government.

Each of these commanders captured many prisoners, which they paroled. The number taken by General Forrest amounts to 1,500 while the killed and wounded number, perhaps, 1,000. General Morgan captured near 2,000 and killed and wounded several hundred. Their destruction of the enemy's stores has been immense, and must materially impede his future operations.

The number of prisoners above given, added to our other captures, makes a total of more than 10,000 taken by our forces since coming into Middle Tennessee.

The remainder of my cavalry, under Wheeler, Wharton, Pegram, and Buford, has been actively and successfully engaged in their respective spheres of duty. They will be more fully noticed and commended in my report of the actions before Murfreesborough, which in deferred a few days by movements which delay the receipt of subordinate reports.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BRAXTON RRAGG,

General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.