being sent by the enemy against General Grant, for if such re-enforcements rendered the enemy too weak to fight us, it would not at all retard his retreat upon Chattanooga. If the enemy is resolved to hold that part of Tennessee now within his lines, and to fight for it, he would not disable himself in the face of this army by sending away re-enforcements, whether we advanced or not-, so long as we remained in condition to advance at any time we pleased. If the enemy has resolved to send away re-enforcements that would materially aid against General Grant. it must be with the view to fall back as we advance, knowing he could not fight us with the remainder, and so I think an advance on our part would in no way affect the sending off of re-enforcements when once resolved upon.
Question No. 3. I have answered this question in my reply to the other two. Under existing or similar circumstances, I do not think an immediate or early advance or our army advisable.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, TWENTIETH CORPS,
Near Murfreesborough, June 9, 1863 - 1.30 a. m.
Lieutenant Colonel C. GODDARD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Cumberland:
COLONEL: In reply to your communication of to night, I would respectfully submit to the general commanding the following as my opinion upon the questions contained therein:
1st. I believe that Bragg's force in our front will not exceed from 25,000 to 30,000, infantry and artillery. Of the number of his cavalry I cannot speak definitely, but believe it to be large. I do not think that he will offer a general engagement, but will fall back, resisting, to the Tennessee River.
2nd. Believing that Bragg will not offer a general engagement, but that he will fall back, I do not think an advance of our army at present likely to prevent additional re-enforcements being sent against General Grant by the enemy in our front.
3rd. I do not think an immediate advance of our army advisable. It will be difficult, at the present time, to pursue Bragg to the Tennessee River, and subsist our men and animals, and keep open our communications.
I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,
P. H. SHERIDAN,
HDQRS. CAVALRY, DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
June 9, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel C. GODDARD, Assistant Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: In answer to the three interrogatories contained in your communication of yesterday, referring to our present situation, I have the honor to submit:
1st. I believe the enemy is so reduced, by detachments sent to re-enforce Johnston, that we may hope to defeat him, provided we can meet his force fairly upon the field. My reasons form this belief are founded principally upon information I have had access to at headquarters, with