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[593] army cannot be accounted for on this theory. But was it demoralized? It fought well when he first took command. His disasters around Atlanta are not attributed by him to a want of spirit in the men, but to incompetency in the officers. He could not have his orders executed. I incline to the opinion that he is mistaken as much as to his facts as he is in his theory.

General Hood insinuates that General Johnston attempts to dodge an acknowledgment of his full losses by “excluding the idea of prisoners,” and charges that his official returns show more than seven thousand under the head of “absent without leave.” This is a very grave charge against an officer and a gentleman-General Hood should know that the usual, if not only, mode of stating the loss of prisoners is in a marginal note opposite the column of “absent without leave.” It can never be other than an approximate estimate; for no general can know how many of his “absent without leave,” after a battle, have gone voluntarily to the enemy, and how many have been captured. General Hood should know also that the absent and prisoners of an army are continued on its rolls from time to time, as the “field-returns” are made out, without reference to a change of commanders, and that it is very possible, therefore, that a part, or even the whole, of the seven thousand prisoners may have been lost when the army was under the command of General Bragg. The rout at Missionary Ridge had occurred before General Johnston took command. This is a matter, however, which especially concerns General Hood. The field return of the 10th of July shows a loss of not quite seven thousand prisoners (six thousand nine hundred and ninety-four). Opposite General Hood's corps is this note: “Two hundred and thirty-eight officers and four thousand five hundred and ninety-seven men, prisoners of war, are reported among the ‘absent without leave.’ ” This shows that, out of not quite seven thousand prisoners of war, nearly five thousand (four thousand eight hundred and thirty-five) were captured from his corps. He knows whether they were lost by him under Johnston, or by some

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