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[36] been made as would have enabled the forces to defend the fort or withdraw without sacrificing the army. On the 14th I ordered General Floyd, by telegraph, ‘If he lost the fort, to get his troops to Nashville.’ It is possible that might have been done, but justice requires us to look at events as they appeared at the time, and not alone by the light of subsequent information. All the facts in relation to the surrender will be transmitted to the Secretary of War as soon as they can be collected, in obedience to his order. It appears from the information received that General Buckner, being the junior officer, took the lead in advising the surrender, and that General Floyd acquiesced, and that they all concurred in the belief that their force could not maintain the position. All concurred that it would involve a great sacrifice of life to extricate the command. Subsequent events show that the investment was not so complete as their information from their scouts led them to believe.

The conference resulted in the surrender. The command was irregularly transferred, and devolved on the junior general; but not apparently to avoid any just responsibility or from any want of personal or moral intrepidity. The blow was most disastrous, and almost without a remedy. I therefore, in my first report, remained silent. This silence you were kind enough to attribute to my generosity. I will not lay claim to the motive to excuse my course. I observed silence, as it seemed to be the best way to serve the cause and the country. The facts were not fully known, discontent prevailed, and criticism and condemnation were more likely to augment than to cure the evil. I refrained, well knowing that heavy censures would fall upon me, but convinced that it was better to endure them for the present, and defer for a more propitious time an investigation of the conduct of the generals; for, in the mean time, their services were required and their influence was useful. For these reasons Generals Floyd and Pillow were assigned to duty, for I still felt confidence in their gallantry, their energy, and their devotion to the Confederacy.

I have thus recurred to the motives by which I have been governed, from a deep personal sense of the friendship and confidence you have always shown me, and from the conviction that they have not been withdrawn from me in adversity.

All the reports requisite for a full official investigation have been ordered. Generals Floyd and Pillow have been suspended from command.

You mention that you intend to visit the field of operations here. I hope soon to see you, for your presence would encourage my troops, inspire the people, and augment the army. To me personally it would give the greatest gratification. Merely a soldier myself, and having no acquaintance with the statesmen or leaders of the South, I can not touch springs familiar to you. Were you to assume command, it would afford me the most unfeigned pleasure, and every energy would be exerted to help you to victory and the country to independence. Were you to decline, still your presence alone would be of inestimable advantage.

The enemy are now at Nashville, about fifty thousand strong, advancing in this direction by Columbia. He has also forces, according to the report of General Bragg, landing at Pittsburg, from twenty-five to fifty thousand, and moving in the direction of Purdy.

This army corps, moving to join Bragg, is about twenty thousand strong. Two brigades, Hindman's and Woods's, are, I suppose, at Corinth. One regiment of Hardee's division (Lieutenant-Colonel Patton commanding) is moving by cars

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