War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0625 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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confront Buckner in East Tennessee, who has a superior force to it, it should, therefore, be deducted. Hovey's division forms part of the corps in North Alabama (Fifteenth), called McPherson's. This would make these corps-

Of 15,000 each....................................... 45,000

Hooker's corps, say.................................. 10,000

Cavalry....................................... 10,000

Artillery..................................... 5,000

------

15,000

------

Total................................................ 70,000

This I consider a very liberal estimate, and not more than 60,000 of it can be brought against us in front of Chattanooga. To meet the present aspect of affairs, as the enemy seems to have been nearly all drawn away from Mississippi and West Tennessee, I propose to throw Loring's division and one more brigade from General Polk's department (say 7,000 men) to re-enforce Johnston, and require him to execute promptly his own proposition to strike first at Ringgold and then at Cleveland; Buckner in the mean time to threaten Knoxville. While this is being done Forrest might move into or threaten Middle Tennessee, and Roddey hold the enemy in North Alabama, so as to prevent his concentration on our front. This can all be done without the elaborate preparation now deemed necessary for an advance, and may be attended with good results, though it holds out no such promise as did the plan of moving before the enemy made his combinations. If this is to be done it should be as prompt as possible, that further combinations both there and here may be prevented.

I inclose herewith a letter left with me by Colonel Ewell just previous to his departure.

BRAXTON BRAGG,

General.

[Third indorsement.]

General Bragg for consideration in connection with inquiry made of General Polk.

J. D.

[Fourth indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES,

Richmond, April 26, 1864.

Respectfully returned to His Excellency the President.

The removal of positions of Buckner's command this way, and the distance of the whole from Knoxville, will enable the enemy to use their force there against Johnston. Late accounts represent his corps in North Alabama, moving toward Chattanooga. The evidences of Hooker's presence in Tennessee are strongest. There is no force now in Mississippi to compete even with our cavalry. I, therefore, most urgently press the immediate and unconditional moving of Loring's division to Dalton. A copy of my dispatch to Lieutenant-General Polk is herewith sent. He does not meet it in his reply.

BRAXTON BRAGG,

General.

40 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III.