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[355]

Besides the grounds of my removal alleged in the telegram announcing it, various accusations were made against me subsequently. Some were published in newspapers appearing to have official authority; others were circulated orally, and referred to General Bragg's authority. The principal were: That I persistently disregarded the President's instructions.

That I would not fight the enemy.

That I refused to defend Atlanta.

That I refused to communicate with General Bragg in relation to the operations of the army.

That I disregarded his entreaties to change my course, and attack the enemy.

And gross exaggerations of the strength and losses of the army.

The President did not give me the benefit of his instructions in the manner of conducting this campaign, further than a brief telegram received early in July, in which he warned me against receiving battle with the Chattahoochee behind the army and near it. But as Lieutenant-General Pemberton's retreat from the Tallahatchie to the Yallobusha, in December, 1862, before an army which he thought not quite double his own; and General Bragg's, first from Murfreesboroa to Tullahoma, then from Tullahoma beyond the Tennessee River, and afterward the rout on Missionary Ridge and flight to Dalton, apparently had not lowered the President's estimate of the military merit of those officers, I supposed that my course would not be disapproved by him; especially as General Lee, by keeping on the defensive, and falling back toward Grant's objective point, under circumstances

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