“[T]he enemy appeared on the opposite [side of the river at Blythe's Ferry] at 1 o’clock, and requesting that I would hasten on. I had previously sent Colonel Lowrey word that I was coming. I subsequently received information that the enemy had left and that there was no necessity of hurrying. Learning that there was no drinking-water near the river, I halted my command at this place, and taking with me a section of artillery went to see Colonel Lowrey.
But Bragg's attention was focused upriver, so he sent troops in the wrong direction. His orders to his commanders on today's date indicate that he was fooled by Rosecrans's deception, convinced that the enemy's action was the start of a major Union thrust. His problem was that he really didn't know where the Army of the Cumberland was, nor where Rosecrans may cross his army over the river. Bragg decides to wait for developments before taking further action, and to fall on the enemy in force when he knows from where the main attack will come.
|Source: Civil War Maps by Hal Jesperson|