expect, however, to arm these with inferior arms from the arsenal at Columbus. Governor Pettus has also ordered 2,000 of the militia to report to me to relieve the troops which I am withdrawing from the posts within the district, and which are guarding the railroad. These will need arms. General Van Dorn also telegraphs to me that about 15,000 of the exchanged prisoners will soon be at Vicksburg, and that many of them may be ordered to his army and this, and he asks whether I can supply them with arms. I hope, too, that as we advance into Tennessee accessions to our ranks will also occasion a want of arms.
For all these reasons I respectfully ask that you will be pleased to furnish me for the use of these troops such portion of the arms in your possession as may not be more wanted elsewhere.
I am, with the greatest respect, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Number 2, Chattanooga, Tenn., August 12, 1862.
Major General STERLING PRICE,
Commanding District of Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have received copy of your letter to General Van Dorn asking co-operation in your advance upon the enemy, and have instructed him by telegraph to-day. I write and herewith inclose you a copy of my letter.* The details of your movements I must leave to your own judgment and intelligence, relying on your patriotism for a cordial co-operation. General E. K. Smith is now on march to turn the Cumberland Gap, and we hope to destroy General Morgan, who holds that with about 10,000. As soon as my transportation comes up we shall move into Middle Tennessee, and, taking the enemy's rear, strike Nashville, or perhaps, leaving that to the left, strike for Lexington and Cincinnati, both of which are entirely unprotected. The fortifications the enemy are throwing up at Huntsville, Stevenson, &c., then give us to be sustained in West Tennessee, even with a division. I hope the enemy will so weaken himself as to enable you to do more; but you must be cautious and not allow him to strike you a fatal blow. I regret to learn General Parsons has failed to cross the Mississippi. Now that our navy is entirely defunct in the loss of the Arkansas I fear the prospect of getting him over at all is but slim. Yet let us trust we may open some other route to Missouri.
We are getting prisoners and deserters daily from the enemy, and a captured letter from Nelson to Buell of the 8th says if something is not done to prevent our sending paroled men back to his lines it will demoralize his whole command. "Fortunately," he says, "they do not parole the officers." In future let us do it, except in exceptional cases. This has been a favorite scheme with me, and it seems is bearing good fruit. Our prospects are bright.
Wishing you all success, I am, general, most respectfully and truly yours,
*See Bragg to Van Dorn, August 11, 1862.