weeks or months, during which delay he might send a portion of his army to Vicksburg. I regard the chances about even.
3rd. I do not think an immediate advance advisabe under all the circumstances.
R. W. JOHNSON,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH ARMY CORPS, June 8, 1863-11.20 p. m.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: The letter from the general commanding, marked "confidential," has this moment been received.
In reply to Question 1, I do not think a great many men have been sent from Bragg's army to Mississippi. I do not believe a great and successful battle can be fought by advancing upon Bragg's army.
2. I cannot see how an advance could prevent Bragg from sending re-enforcements against Grant.
3. I do not consider an advance of this army now advisable.
I am, respectfully,
A. McD. McCOOK,
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION CAVALRY, Murfreesborough, Tenn., June 8, 1863-Midnight.
Lieutenant Colonel and Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of the Cumberland:
SIR: I think that the enemy is weakened in front by sending reenforcements to General Johnston; but, supposing the enemy as wise as we are, I do not think he could risk to send so large a part of his army toward Vicksburg as to expose Georgia to such extent that our army could, by a single move across the Tennessee River, split the Southern Confederacy this side of the Mississippi River in two. I think he has enough of troops to show us some fight in the gaps of the mountains, being ready to fall back toward the Tennessee River any time we seriously attack him. His line of defense is not in Middle Tennessee, but behind the Tennessee River.
We may reasonably expect to gain some advantages by moving south; but suppose the enemy falls back and we are on the Tennessee River, what then? Our communications will be long and exposed; our left flank will be uncovered. Occupying East Tennessee, and being behind the Tennessee River, he may then send more re-enforcements to Vicksburg, threatening at the same time Kentucky. Moving south, we must have a strong column to move to East tennessee, to drive the enemy out and to occupy it.
East Tennessee strategically resembles Switzerland. If the war is between France and Germany, he will have the advantage who will occupy Switzerland, because, having gaps or debouches in his hands, he will threaten the flank of the advancing enemy and will secure his own flank. The same would be the case if the war is between France and Italy. The same is the case here between this and the enemy's army.