General Bragg by flag of truce, etc. Being unable to perceive how the interests of humanity are to be promoted by the suspension of correspondence between the commanders of opposite armies, I very much regret your determination. The more so, because it is not in my power to reestablish that correspondence. General Bragg is the commander-in-chief of the Army of Tennessee, not I. One of his functions as such is, of course, the conducting of such correspondence as you propose to hold with me. I can assume none of the duties or privileges of the position in which our common superior, the President of the Confederacy, placed him. I gladly avail myself of this opportunity to express to you my appreciation of your humanity exhibited in the case of our wounded who fell into your hands at Murfreesboroa.
Most respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. E. Johnston, General.
Tullahoma, February 12, 1863.. .. In Mississippi every thing depends upon the result of the labor opposite to Vicksburg. If Grant should succeed in making a navigable canal, and through it pass Vicksburg and invest Port Hudson with the combined armies, it would be difficult for us to succor the place. Indeed, we have not the means of forming a relieving army. General Pemberton is not communicative. I am told, however, that he is confident that the canal cannot be made. It seems to me to depend upon the condition of the river, whether or not it is too high for work with spades.