O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XVII/1
DECEMBER 15, 1862-JANUARY 3, 1863.
No. 19.--Report of General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding
Army of Tennessee, of Forrest's and Morgan's Expeditions.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Winchester, Tenn., January 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to forward the reports made by Generals Forrest
and Morgan(*) of their recent operations, showing the entire success of their
expeditions. In transmitting these reports it may not be amiss for me to
recapitulate the plan on which the whole campaign has been conducted since
this army crossed the Tennessee River. As soon as my forces were sufficiently
concentrated to enable me to assume a decided stand at
Murfreesborough the main body of the army was thrown forward to a line with
that point as a center. The cavalry, with the exception of the brigades of
Forrest and Morgan, was posted well forward toward the enemy's lines near
Nashville, by which his sphere of operations on this side the Cumberland was
much contracted and his attempts at foraging were rendered almost fruitless.
My intention of cutting his communications in rear, which would seriously
embarrass him during the low stage of the Cumberland, was indicated to you in
my report from Tullahoma previous to moving forward to Murfreesborough. In the
execution of this design I observed as little delay as possible. As soon as
practicable after the brilliant affair at Hartsville Brig. Gen. John H. Morgan
crossed the Cumberland with his command and moved by forced marches to
Northern Kentucky, so as to strike the enemy where distance and long repose
had lulled him into a sense of security. For the brilliant and successful
execution of his instructions General Morgan has again won the admiration and
gratitude of his country and Government. For the details of his movements and
achievements I respectfully refer you to his official report.
In accordance with the same general plan, which included a diversion in favor
of our army in Mississippi, then heavily pressed by General Grant, I ordered
Brig. Gen. N. B. Forrest to proceed with his brigade, of cavalry to West
Tennessee and operate upon the enemy's communications in that direction. His
command was composed chiefly of new men, imperfectly armed and equipped, and
in his route lay the Tennessee River which had to be crossed by such means as
could be hastily improvised. His reports attest the excellent bearing of his
troops and show the results of his expedition to have been most brilliant and
decisive. The enemy, in consequence of this vigorous assault in a quarter
vital to their self-preservation, have-been compelled to throw back a large
force from Mississippi and virtually to abandon a campaign which so seriously
threatened our safety. The loss of Forrest, though considerable, is small in
comparison with the results achieved and that of the enemy. The details of his
operations will be found in his inclosed reports. He has received my thanks
and deserves the applause of his Government.
Each of these commanders captured many prisoners, which they paroled. The
number taken by General Forrest amounts to 1,500, while the killed and wounded
number, perhaps, 1,000. General Morgan captured near 2,000 and killed and
wounded several hundred. Their destruction of the enemy's stores has been
immense, and must materially impede his future operations. The number
of prisoners above given, added to our other captures, makes a total of
more than 10,000 taken by our forces since coming into Middle Tennessee.
The remainder of my cavalry, under Wheeler, Wharton, Pegram,
has been actively and successfully engaged in their respective spheres of duty.
They will be more fully noticed and commended in my report of the actions
before Murfreesborough, which is deferred a few days by movements
which delay the receipt of subordinate reports.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.