could not be furnished them at Dalton, it was necessary to send about half of each of these arms of service far to the rear, where the country could furnish food. On that account Brigadier-General Roddey was ordered with about three-fourths of his troops from Tuscumbia to Dalton, and arrived at the end of February. On April 2, however, he was sent back to his former position by the Secretary of War.
On January 15 and 16 Baldwin's and Quarles' brigades returned to the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, to which they belonged. His Excellency Joseph E. Brown added to the army two regiments of State troops, which were used to guard the railroad bridges between Dalton and Atlanta.
On February 17 the President ordered me by telegraph to detach Lieutenant-General Hardee with the infantry of his corps, except Stevenson's division, to aid Lieutenant-General Polk against Sherman in Mississippi. This order was obeyed as promptly as our means of transportation permitted. The force detached was probably exaggerated to Major-General Thomas, for on the 23rd the Federal army advanced to Ringgold, on the 24 drove in our outposts, and on the 25th skirmished at Mill Creek Gap and in Crow's Valley, east of Rocky Face Mountain. We were successful at both places. At the latter, Clayton's brigade, after a sharp action of half an hour, defeated double its number. At night it was reported that a U. S. brigade was occupying Dug Gap, from which it had driven our troops. Granbury's (Texas) brigade, returning from Mississippi, had just arrived. It was ordered to march to the foot of the mountain immediately and to retake the gap at sunrise next morning, which was done. In the night of the 26th the enemy retired. On February 27 I suggested to the Executive by letter through General Bragg that all preparations for a forward movement should be made without further delay.
In a letter dated 4th of March General Bragg desired me "to have all things ready at the earliest practicable moment for the movement indicated." In replying, on the 12th, I reminded him that the regulations of the War Department do not leave such preparations to commanders of troops, but to officers who received their orders from Richmond. On the 18th a letter was received from General Bragg sketching a plan of offensive operations, and enumerating the troops to be used in them under me. I was invited to express my views on the subject. In doing so, both by telegraph and mail, I suggested modifications, and urged that the additional troops named should be sent immediately, to enable us, should the enemy advance, to beat him and then move forward; or should he not advance, do so ourselves. General Bragg replied by telegraph on the 21st:
Your dispatch of 19th does not indicate acceptance of plan proposed. Troops can only be drawn from other points for advance. Upon your decision of that point further action must depend.
I replied, by telegraph on the 22d:
In my dispatch of 19th I expressly accept taking offensive. Only differ with you as to details. I assume that the enemy will be prepared for advance before we will, and will make it, to our advantage. Therefore I propose, both for offensive and defensive, to assemble our troops here immediately.
This was not noticed. Therefore, on the 25th I again urged the necessity of re-enforcing the Army of Tennessee, because the enemy was collecting a larger force than that of the last campaign, while ours was less than it had been then.