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[462]

New York City, October 21, 1873.
General M. Lovell: My Dear General:
Your letter of the 15th inst., requesting my professional opinion concerning the conduct of the retreat of the Confederate army in 1864, while commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston, and also of the impression produced in the Union army on being informed of the removal of that officer from his position, was received. I have no possible objection to communicating to you my views on this subject, briefly, of course (as I have not my notes and maps of the campaign near me to refer to), and, besides, I wish it to be understood, in advance, that my opinions on this subject are expressed in no ostentatious manner, but merely to comply with your request, and to do justice, as far as lies in my power, to a brother officer toward whom I have always felt the highest admiration for his superior military accomplishments.

I was familiar with his services in the Seminole War, and also in our war with Mexico.

During the campaign to which you refer, I served in the army opposed to him, in command of a corps, on which, as you intimate, much of the heavy work of the campaign devolved — I mean the retreat of the Confederate army from Buzzard's Roost Pass to near Atlanta, Ga., embracing the period from May 6th to July 27th. At the former point Johnston found himself too weak to cope with our army with any prospect of success, and it became his problem to weaken the Union army by drawing it from its base of operations and seeking opportunities in the mean time to attack and destroy it whenever occasions presented


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