War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0268 KY., MID., AND E. TENN., N., ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

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tion and its approaches; also of the defensive works completed and in progress. The position is naturally a good one, and may be made very strong by a few days' labor, in addition to that already expended. The chief difficulty arises from the fact that the natural extent of the position is too great for the number of troops now here. There line must be extended beyond the proper limists of strength for my present force, or else the flanks must be quite imperfectly protected. One additional brigade of troops would, I believe, remove this difficulty, and enable me to make a sure defense against greatly superior numbers, at least long enough for the main army to be brought into action in this position. Considering that the proximity of the enemy is such that he may reach me by a single night's march, and that my position may be easily turned, an attack againt my present, force might result in the loss of my baggage and possibly of my artillery.

I express thus freely my views without intending to suggest whether, in view of all the circumstances, my force here should be increased or not. I am proceeding upon the supposition that it will not be increased.

I have determined to limit the defense to the heights on the north side of Wilson's Creek, and will extend the works on either flank so as to make them as secure as possible.

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




Washington, April 23, 1863-10.10 a.m.

Major-General ROSECRANS,

Murfreesborough, Tenn.:

Your dispatch of the 21st received. I really cannot say that I have heard any complaint of you. I have heard complaint of a police corps at Nashville, but your name was not mentioned in connection with it, so far as I remember. It may be that by inference you are connected with it, but my attention has never been drawn to it in that light.



April 23, 1863.


Chief of Staff, Army of the Cumberland, Murfreesborough, Tenn.:

I have positive information this morning that the enemy have withdrawn with their artillery wagons and the greater part of their force on the Sparta pike, leaving behind only a few hundred as pickets, rear guards, &c. Each man carried with him half a bushel of shelled corn, which they said was to cross the mountains with; that they were going into Kentucky, and also that Bragg was going there, and that he has already commenced withdrawing part of his force via Chattanooga. I will send a force so as to be at Liberty to-morrow.