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Morton, August 8, 1863.
Mr. President:
I.1 Your letter of July 15th was handed to me in Mobile on the 28th, by Colonel Shaller. The want of papers to which it was necessary to refer prevented me from replying sooner.

II. I respectfully ask your Excellency to reconsider the several allegations of your letter, and especially to consider whether my misapprehension of the order sending me to Mississippi, my having regarded my assignment to the immediate command in that department as having given me a new position and limiting my authority — an opinion which had no practical results, which affected in no way the exercise of my military functions, and which had been removed before you noticed it — was a serious military offense. It affected my military course in no way, because, while commanding on the spot in Mississippi, I could not direct General Bragg's operations in Tennessee, and because I felt that the question of ordering more troops from Bragg, one of great magnitude, involving at least the temporary loss of Tennessee and Mississippi, ought to be decided by the Government, and not by me. This opinion was expressed in my dispatch to the Secretary of War of June 12th, in these words: “To take from Bragg a force which would make this army fit to oppose that of Grant would involve yielding Tennessee. It is for the Government to decide between this State and Tennessee.” The idea was thus repeated on the 15th: “ Nor is it for me to judge which it is best to hold, Mississippi or Tennessee, that is for the Government to determine; without some great blunder by the ”

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