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[242] the armies under General Bragg, and Lieutenant-Generals E. Kirby Smith and Pemberton, in Tennessee and Mississippi. The object of much more of it is to show, to as little purpose, that the order of May 9th annulled no part of that of November 24, 1862.

The President's interpretation of his own orders was conclusive. That in question was interpreted in a telegram dated June 8th, five or six weeks before this letter left his office. This explanation made all arguments and instances useless, and left no occasion for a very long and harsh letter. The fact that General Bragg's department had been formally separated from mine (July 22d) before this letter was dispatched, would have made it useless, if it had not been so before.

I am also accused of having persisted in my error. The only ground of this charge is, that being asked by the President the same question in three distinct telegrams, I replied to them successively, endeavoring to make each reply clearer than the preceding one.

I maintain that, however the order of May 9th may have been intended, it dissolved practically my connection with General Bragg and his army. For it is certain that while commanding one army in Mississippi, in the presence of the much more powerful one of General Grant, it was impossible for me to direct the operations of another far off in Tennessee, also greatly outnumbered by its enemy. That a general should command but one army, and that every army should have its general present with it,

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