War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0423 Chapter XXXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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and 5,069 men, making a general total of 87,800; or, leaving out all commissioned, this army represents 82,767 bayonets and sabers.

This report does not include the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, 600 strong, lately armed, nor the First Wisconsin Cavalry, nor Coburn's brigade of infantry now arriving, nor the 2,394 convalescents now on light duty in Fortress Rosecrans.

There are detached from this force as follows:

At Gallatin............................................... 969

At Cartage............................................... 1,149

At Fort Donelson.......................................... 1,485

At Clarksville............................................ 1,138

At Nashville.............................................. 900

At La Vergne.............................................. 2,117

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Total..................................................... 15,050

With these posts as they are, and leaving 2,500 efficient men, addition to the 2,394 convalescents, to hold the works at this place, there will be left 65,137 bayonets and sabers to thrown against Bragg's 41,680.

I beg leave to submit also following considerations:

1st. Bragg's army is now weaker than it has been since the battle or is likely to be again for the present, while our army has reached its maximum strength, and we have no right to except further re-enforcements for several months, if at all.

2nd. Whatever may be the result at Vicksburg, the determination of its fate give large re-enforcements to Bragg. If Grant is successful, his army require many weeks to cover from the shock and strain of his late campaign, while Johnston will send back to Bragg a force sufficient to insure the safety of tennessee.

3rd. If Grant fails, the same result will inevitably follow, so far as Bragg's army is concerned. no man can affirm with certainly the result of any battle, however great the disparity in numbers. Such results are in the hand of God. But viewing the question in the light of human calculation, I refuse to entertain a doubt that this army, which in january last defeated Bragg's superior numbers, cannot overwhelm his present greatly inferior force. The most unfavorable course for us that Bragg could take be to fall back without giving us battle, but this would be very disastrous to him. Besides the loss of material of war, and the abandonment of the rich and abundant harvest now nearly ripe in Central Tennessee, he would lose heavily by desertion. It is well known that a widespread dissatisfaction exists among his Kentucky and Tennessee troops. They are already deserting in large numbers.

4th. A retreat would greatly increase both the desire and the opportunity for desertion, and would very materially reduce his physical and moral strength. While it would lengthen our communications, it would give us possession of McMinnville, and unable us to threaten Chattanooga and East Tennessee, and it would not be unreasonable to expect an early occupation of the former place.

5th. but the chances are more than even that a sudden and rapid movement would compel a general engagement, and the defeat of Bragg would be in the highest degree disastrous to the rebellion.

6th. The turbulent aspect of politics in the loyal States renders a decisive blow against the enemy at this time of the highest importance to the success of the Government at the polls, and in the enforcement of the conscription act.