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[367] with more confidence at the close than at the beginning of the campaign.


On the 11th of February, 1868, Lieutenant.General Stewart wrote to me on the same subject:

.... You desired my opinion as to the condition of the army when you were relieved from command. I first joined that army a few days before the battle of Shiloh. It was then mostly without discipline, as the battle of Shiloh too sadly evinced. Our stay at Tupelo, Mississippi, after the retreat from Corinth, was improved in drilling and disciplining the army. General Bragg had brought it to a high state of efficiency by the time he set out on his campaign into Kentucky. The army was in a fine condition also when General Bragg retreated from Middle Tennessee, in 1863, and up to the disaster on Missionary Ridge in November of that year. I do not know that its morale was ever before equal, certainly never superior, to what it was when the campaign opened in Georgia in 1864, under your command. You were the only commander of that army whom men and officers were disposed to trust and confide in without reserve. While at Dalton, I frequently heard this subject, of the unbounded confidence of the men in ‘Old Joe,’ discussed among the officers, who seemed but little, if any, exceeded by the rank and file in this respect. The officers seemed to regard this feeling as a great element of strength (as it certainly was), and looked upon it as a part of their duty to cherish and promote it. The army had confidence in itself, and had long been wanting a commander in whom they could place reliance. The consequence

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