manding desires you to answer, in writing, according to the best of your judgment, the following questions, giving your reasons therefor:
1. From the fullest information in your possession, do you think the enemy in front of us has been so materially weakened by detachments to Johnston or elsewhere that this army could advance on him at this time, with strong reasonable chances of fighting a great and successful battle?
2. Do you think and advance of our army at present likely to prevent additional re-enforcements being sent against General Grant by the enemy in our front?
3. Do you think an immediate or early advance of our army advisable?
He desired your reply to-night.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS, June 8, 1863.
Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: I have just received your communication, marked "confidential" asking certain questions in regard to the propriety of future operations of this army, and, in reply, I have the honor to state that, from the best information in my possession, I do to believe Bragg's forces in our front have been materially weakened by sending re-enforcements to Vicksburg. I do nog think a break and successful battle could be fought with reasonable chances of success at present. In my judgment, the chances of victory would be about equal, and I do not, therefore, recommend an immediate advance under such circumstances. I am of opinion, however, that an advance would have the effect of preventing Bragg from sending further re-enforcements to Mississippi.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JEF. C. DAVIS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, TWENTIETH CORPS, June 8, 1863-11.15 p. m.
SIR: Your communication, marked "confidential," is just received, and I have the honor to make the following reply:
1st. I do not think that the force in our front has been greatly reduced by detaching troops under Johnston, and I do not believe that an advance upon Bragg would be likely to terminate in a great and successful battle.
2nd. An advance of our army might prevent the re-enforcement of Johnston, but I cannot see that it certainly would do so. If Bragg was compelled to fall back by an advance on our part, he might retreat beyond the Tennessee, destroying roads and bridges, delaying us several