Today in History:

45 Series I Volume XVI-I Serial 22 - Morgan's First Kentucky Raid, Perryville Campaign Part I


Chattanooga. This, except as to the time of the concentration, is the plan that was actually executed. The earlier execution of it would not have affected the result, but the distribution of my small cavalry force to guard the various passes across the mountains, from 40 to 60 miles distant-which was one feature of the plan-could only have resulted in the capture or dispersion of the whole of them whenever the enemy chose to effect it. As for the idea of first concentrating at Murfreesborough and then advancing to attack the enemy at Sparta, it must suppose that the enemy would wait seven or eight days at that place to be attacked, which he did not do. I do not, therefore, see any advantage in this variation of the plan that was adopted; an if it had been submitted to my judgment I should have rejected it.

Two witnesses of high rank, in answer to a question north of the Cumberland River at which at which Bragg's army "could have been attacked with a prospect of success, "expressed the opinion that it might have been done at Glasgow. This opinion was undoubtedly expressed without reflection, unless it referred to the advantage which the locality of Glasgow would, have afforded for the attacking army in case of a collision there, and not to the possibility of intercepting Bragg's army at that point; for the testimony of these two witnesses shows and the map shows that until Bragg's army crossed the Cumberland River and took up its march northward it was impossible to know from its movements whether its plan was to go into Kentucky or turn to the west against Nashville; that it is 50 miles from the Cumberland River where Bragg crossed it to Glasgow, while it is 95 miles from Nashville, where my army was, to Glasgow; and from these facts the witnesses admit that it was not possible to have intercepted Bragg's army at that point unless he had tarried there. In point of fact the evidence shows that on the 7th of September I learned that a portion of Bragg's army had crossed the Cumberland River at Carthage and was moving northward, probably toward Bowling Green, where I had caused some supplies to be accumulated by the way of Green River, and that I immediately ordered a portion of my army to march for that point; that on the 10th I learned, what was before unknown, if not improbable that another portion had crossed at Gainesborough, and had probably marched in the same direction, and that I ordered other divisions, making six, for the same point, accompanying them myself; that this movement was made rapidly, the last of the six divisions arriving at Bowling Green Monday morning, the 15th, which was the time at which the rear of Bragg's army passed Glasgow. Thus, after gaining intelligence of his passage over the Cumberland River, I moved my army 65 miles while he was moving 50, with the advantage of two roads, and i was still 30 miles in rear of him.

The same process of demonstration will show that even if I had known he was going by Munfordville, and if there had been nothing to delay me an hour at Bowling Green, I could not have intercepted him at Munfordville, because I had 105 miles to march, while he ;had but 68, the distance from Glasgow to Munfordville being 18 miles. In fact his advantage actually attacked the latter place the day before my sixth division reached Bowling Green. But, furthermore, it was not yet to be assumed that his destination was Central Kentucky; on the contrary, Glasgow was an important position for him. It effectually commanded my line of communication with my base of communication with my base of supplies, while he had two lines open-one with the East Tennessee Railroad, which was his permanent base, and also with the valley of the Cumberland, and