A native of Augusta, Georgia, Joseph Wheeler rose quickly through Confederate ranks from lieutenant in the artillery to colonel commanding a cavalry brigade in Bragg's army during the Perryville campaign. During the later stages of the war, he led mounted operations against Sherman's lines of supply and communications during the advance on Atlanta and the successive march to the sea. Following the Civil War, he returned to military service as Major General of the Volunteers in the Spanish American War. His account of Bragg's and Smith's ill-fated invasion of Kentucky is taken from Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.
General Bragg succeeded General Beauregard in command of the Confederate troops at Tupelo, Miss., about fifty miles south of Corinth, on June 27th, 1862. The field returns of June 9th, a week after our army reached Tupelo, reported it at 45,080. This return included the Army of Mississippi, reënforced by the troops brought from Arkansas by Generals Price and Van Dorn, together with detachments gathered from various localities. About two thousand cavalry not included in this return also belonged to the army. This was the maximum force General Bragg could expect to concentrate at that point. General Halleck, immediately confronting Bragg with the armies of Grant, Pope, and Buell, had in and about Corinth a force of 128,315 men, of which the field return of June 1 st showed 108,538 present for duty. A division reporting 8682 for duty, under the Federal General George W Morgan, was at Cumberland Gap; a division with 6411 for duty, under General Ormsby M. Mitchel, was in north Alabama, and three brigades were located at Nashville, Murfreesboro', and other points in middle Tennessee. Buell soon started en route to north Alabama, General Halleck remaining at or near Corinth with seventy thousand men for duty, a force strong enough to hold