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[502]

I have been told by Lieutenant-Generals Polk and Hardee that they have advised you to remove General Bragg and place me in command of this army. I am sure that you will agree with me that the part that I have borne in this investigation would render it inconsistent with my personal honor to occupy that position. I believe, however, that the interests of the service require that General Bragg should not be removed.

Most respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. E. Johnston, General.

Chattanooga, February 26, 1853.
Major-General Van Dorn. General:
Your letter of the 22d inst. is just received. My first object in bringing you into Middle Tennessee was to enable you to take part in a battle in the event of the advance of the Federal army. The second, that you might operate upon his line of communication previous to his moving from Murfreesboroa, and up to he time of engagement; or, if it should appear to be expedient — battle being unlikely — that you might move into Kentucky, or farther.

The movement in General Bragg's theatre of operations will be, necessarily, under his control. Those from it and beyond it, I will at least inaugurate.

There should be no attack upon Franklin until full information is obtained of the enemy's strength. If expedient, it will require a considerable addition to your force. I hope to be able to visit you very soon.

Most respectfully. Your obedient servant, J. E. Johnston, General.

Chattanooga, February 25, 1863.
Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War, Richmond:
General Bragg reports reinforcements continue to reach Nashville. Major-General Cox arrived last week with a


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