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In order to make clear what I have to say in this connection, I will quote Governor Isham G. Harris:

Dear Sir: * * * * General Hood, on the march to Franklin, spoke to me, in the presence of Major Mason, of the failure of General Cheatham to make the night attack at Spring Hill, and censured him in severe terms for his disobedience of orders. Soon after this, being alone with Major Mason, the latter remarked that “General Cheatham was not to blame about the matter last night. I did not send him the order.” I asked if he had communicated the fact to General Hood. He answered that he had not. I replied that “it is due General Cheatham that this explanation should be made.” Thereupon Major Mason joined General Hood and gave him the information. Afterward General Hood said to me that he had done injustice to General Cheatham, and requested me to inform him that he held him blameless for the failure at Spring Hill, and on the day following the battle of Franklin I was informed by General Hood that he had addressed a note to General Cheatham assuring him that he did not censure him with the failure to attack.

Very respectfully,

The first intimation made to me, from any source, that my conduct at Spring Hill, on the 29th of November, 1864, or during the night of that day, was the subject of criticism, was the receipt of a note from General Hood, written and received on the morning of the 3d of December. This is the communication referred to in the letter of Governor Harris, above quoted. This note was read, so far as I know, by only four persons beside myself — my chief of staff, James D. Porter; Governor Isham G. Harris, Major J. F. Cummings, of Georgia, and John C. Burch. Not having been in the habit of carrying a certificate of military character, I attached no special value to the paper, and it was lost somewhere during the campaign in North Carolina. Governor Porter and Major Cummings agree with me that the following was the substance of the note:

December 13, 1864.
My Dear General: I do not censure you for the failure at Spring Hill. I am satisfied that you are not responsible for it. I witnessed the splendid manner in which you delivered battle at Franklin on the 30th ult. I now have a higher estimate of

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