War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0284 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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safety across the Potomac. The enemy, finding in this movement of wise precaution a pretext for the arrogant claim of victory, followed to the river-bank, but ventured not to assail their retiring conquerors, much less to cross the river in pursuit. Our gallant army, in round defiance of the hosts gathered on the opposite shore, rested and recruited on the Virginia side with the satisfaction of having well-night destroyed two grand armies of invaders, and severely staggered a third, more numerous that either.

A pause of martial inaction ensued for some weeks, and may be considered as affording a termination in the east to one of the most remarkable campaigns of history. In the west less brilliant, but still very decisive, successes attended our arms. From the effects of the victory of Shiloh and of the reinvigorated ranks and spirits of our forces under the action of the conscript law our forces in each department prepared to make active advances, and by combined movements, pressing forward their discouraged and retreating foes, to reposes the country previously occupied by them and to go forward to the redemption of the State of Kentucky, and the attack of one or more of the leading cities in the west. In the prosecution of this plan North Alabama and Mississippi were cleared of the footsteps of the foe. All of Tennessee, save the strongholds of Memphis and Nashville and the narrow districts commanded by them, were retrieved, and by converging armies nearly the whole of Kentucky was occupied and held. The signal victory of Richmond was won with the capture and dispersion of nearly the whole much superior forces of the enemy by the skill and valor of General E. Kirby Smith and his brave command, while a series of brilliant cavalry movements and successes, won by the gallant Colonel Morgan, broke up all efforts on the part of the disaffected Unionists or scattered Federal forces to rally and combine and afforded at once protection and encouragement to rise to the loyal citizens of the State. These movements threatened the safety and excited the greatest consternation of the cities of Cincinnati and Louisville. Meanwhile General Braxton Bragg, with a well appointed army, trained and disciplined under his efficient organization, moved boldly forward through Tennessee and Kentucky. By doing this he so flanked and endangered the rear of General Buell, in command of the leading army of the enem to compel him to rapid retreat for refuge and re-enforcement on the Ohio at Louisville or elsewhere. Had General Buell, as might naturally have been expected from his numbers, been more bold to encounter his enemy or less rapid in his flight, General Bragg would probably have accomplished, after sweeping all foes from before him in Middle Kentucky, the great object of overthrowing Buell's army and capturing Kentucky. Unfortunately, Buell effected his evasion of battle and escaped safely to that city which, under the occupancy of his army, became too strong for assault. Sheltered in Louisville, Buell was enabled to receive and organize the very large re-enforcement which the draft of the Federal Government and the dread of invasion in the populous States of the Northwest caused to be forwarded with extraordinary dispatch. His forces, before superior, became vastly larger than all our commands in Kentucky, and he began by various movements to threaten our connections and communication with the more southern States.

About the same time the diversions which were expected to be made by our forces still remaining on the southern borders of West