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[251] on the belief that the arrangement was not in accordance with military principles, which require that every army should have its own general, and especially that two armies far apart, having different objects, and opposed to enemies having different objects, should not be under one general. I thought these armies too far apart to reenforce each other in emergencies. Experience has confirmed that opinion. I thought, however, that the troops in Arkansas should cooperate with those of Lieutenant-General Pemberton, for both had the same great object — the defense of the Mississippi Valley; and both were opposed to troops having one object — the possession of the Mississippi: and the main force of these troops was operating on this side of the river.

Permit me to say that, after careful consideration, I can find nothing in my three brief telegrams which seems to me to call for the animadversions in your last paragraph. They were written in answer to dispatches of yours, and referred to an opinion of mine which had been corrected before your attention was called to it. I had no other object, besides the duty of replying to your dispatches, than to prevent your supposing that the opinion concerning which you questioned me was entirely unfounded. But, whether well founded or unfounded, that opinion was a thing of the past when first brought to your notice, and therefore I cannot feel that the having once entertained it is a military offense, or that the manner in which I attempted to extenuate my misapprehension of the Honorable Secretary's telegram of May


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