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“ [231] the immediate command in Mississippi” as giving you “a new position” and as “ limiting your authority,” being a repetition of a statement which you were informed was a grave error, and being persisted in after your failure to point out, when requested, the letter or dispatch justifying you in such a conclusion, rendered it necessary, as you were informed in my dispatch of 8th instant, that I should make a more extended reply than could be given in a telegram. That there may be no possible room for further mistake in the matter, I am compelled to recapitulate the substance of all orders and instructions given to you, so far as they bear on this question.

II. On the 24th November last you were assigned, by Special Order No. 275, to a definite geographical command. Tie description includes a portion of Western North Carolina, and Northern Georgia, the States of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, and that part of the State of Louisiana east of the Mississippi River. The order concluded in the following language: “General Johnston will, for the purpose of correspondence and reports, establish his headquarters at Chattanooga, or such other place as in his judgment will best secure communication with the troops within the limits of his command, and will repair in person to any part of said command, whenever his presence may for the time be necessary or desirable.”

III. This command by its terms embraced the armies under command of General Bragg in Tennessee, of General Pemberton at Vicksburg, as well as those at Port Hudson, Mobile, and the forces in East Tennessee.

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