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[248] but understood the words, “you know best concerning General Bragg's army,” to refer to the acquaintance with military affairs in Middle Tennessee, that I might be supposed to have acquired.

VI. In paragraph XVI. your Excellency charges me with abandonment of my duties as commanding general of a geographical district. I respectfully deny the commission of such a military crime. During the month ending June 10th, in which I believed myself to be commanding only the department of Mississippi, it was not possible for me to direct operations in Tennessee also. It is true that I might have drawn troops from it to Mississippi; but my opinion on that subject was expressed to the War Department in my dispatches of June 12th and 15th as follows: “To take from Bragg a force that would make this army fit to oppose Grant, would involve the yielding Tennessee. It is for the Government to decide between this State and Tennessee. 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 enemy, we cannot hold both.”

In paragraph XX. you write: “This was in deference to your own opinion that Bragg could not be safely weakened-nay, that he ought even to be reenforced at Pemberton's expense; for you had just ordered troops from Pemberton's command to reenforce Bragg.” The time alluded to seems to be the 9th of May, as your reference is to the order of that date. The United States army had then crossed the Mississippi, and defeated a large detachment of ours. To have “ ordered troops from Pemberton's command ”


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