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[295] together with the article from the Toledo ‘Democrat.’ The elapse of time since the event spoken of in that article is so great that I feel some hesitation in answering your letter and the article from the ‘Democrat’ as I might do if I had access to the archives at Washington; but, writing from memory, I think I can say with great positiveness there was never any despatch from you to me, or from you to any one in Washington, disparaging General Thomas's movements at Nashville. On the contrary, my recollection is that when I met you on your way to Wilmington, N. C., subsequent to the battle of Nashville, you explained the situation at Nashville prior to General Thomas's movement against Hood, with a view of removing the feeling that I had that Thomas had been slow. I was very impatient at that time with what I thought was tardiness on the part of General Thomas, and was very much afraid that while he was lying there at Nashville and not moving his army, Hood might cross the Tennessee River either above or below the city of Nashville, and get between him and the Ohio River, and make a retrograde movement of our army at Nashville a necessity, and very much embarrass and delay future operations of the armies. Laboring under this feeling and impression, I was telegraphing General Thomas daily, and almost hourly, urging him to move out and attack Hood, and finally became so impatient that I contemplated his removal and the substitution of another officer in his place; but this feeling on my part was not added to by any despatches from any person from the scene of action, except those from General Thomas himself. I have certainly no recollection of receiving any despatches from Nashville, during the time spoken of in the article in the ‘Democrat,’ from any person but General Thomas himself. I feel very sure that if any despatches had been received from you, I should now recollect it; and I am free to say that it would have created a prejudice to your disadvantage if I had received such despatches. This much you are at liberty to use in any way you may deem proper. The other reflections which the author of the article alluded to [made] against you I of course am not called upon to say anything in regard to. The fact is, your subsequent promotions are proof positive that I entertained none of the views set forth to your disadvantage in this article.

Very truly yours,

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