Fourth, Simultaneously send large cavalry force (General Polk's) to enemy's rear in Middle Tennessee. These operations might enforce the evacuation of the Tennessee Valley and render safely practicable an advance into the heart of the State.
Fifth. Should the enemy ultimately succeed against this course, in penetrating to Rome, or in some similar move, to take position where he could be met and probably beaten, and then press him back to the Ohio.
In the views thus presented I understood General Wheeler, who was present most of the time, mainly to concur. An immediate advance into Middle Tennessee with, say, 15,000 additional troops, if to be had, via Washington, toward McMinnville, and successful assault upon the enemy he regarded, perhaps, as not quite so hazardous as did General Johnston, though he considered it a critical question, and, like the general, looked upon disaster there as probably fatal.
In view of the facts exhibited and reasons urged I did not feel justified in pertinaciously advocating the particular movement into Tennessee, and could not but admit that the mode of attack preferred by General Johnston might, on the whole, prove most proper. The enemy's force here is evidently greater than has been supposed. A result differing by only about 2,000 as to his numbers was reached by data from time to time derived by an officer (not consulting scout reposts) from the enemy's papers respecting regiments, brigades, divisions, and corps, so that the estimate is probably not far from the truth.
From reports of scouts just sent in by General Wheeler, and shown me by General Johnston, it seems clear that the enemy is preparing for a great effort here. If so, it will no doubt be wise to have everything at once ready for the most telling blow that can be dealt him.
This memorandum has been read to General Johnston and approved by him as correct.
W. N. PENDLETON,
Brigadier General and Chief of Arty., Army of Northern Virginia.
APRIL 21, 1864.
General Bragg for consideration and consultation with General Pendleton, with a view to further conference.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES,
Richmond, April 22, 1864.
Respectfully returned to His Excellency the President.
The forward movement against the enemy, so much desired, and which promised such large results, has been so long delayed that he has been enabled to make combinations which render it now inexpedient, if not impracticable, unless we an beat him on this side the Tennessee River. His forces seem to me considerably overestimated. Hooker's corps, for instance, first carried to Tennessee 12,000 men; it has lost heavily since in battle in Lookout Valley and again on the mountains; Palmer's and Howard's (three divisions each) I should suppose about 30,000 effectives in all; the Twenty-third (Schofield's mounted infantry) does not exceed 8,000, and has to