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[378] Department, without passing through the regular channel; in other words, without being first submitted to General Beauregard, who was thus deprived of his unquestionable right of correction, approval, or disapproval. And we will further state that General Bragg's report, though transmitted, as were the others, without the commanding general's endorsement, bore date April 30th, 1862, as if regularly made to General Beauregard, through Colonel Thomas Jordan, his Chief of Staff, when, in reality, it was not completed and despatched from army headquarters until the 25th of July, 1862.1 None of the general officers who thus openly violated the well-established rule of military etiquette were ignorant of its acknowledged necessity. From the Adjutant-General at Richmond, who received the documents thus irregularly transmitted, to the very corps commanders who forwarded them, all were trained soldiers, all, except General Breckinridge, had belonged to the Regular army before the war, where ‘red-tape’ routine, in every military bureau, had ever been strictly insisted upon and invariably practised. It was by the act of a friend2 that General Beauregard's attention was attracted to the singular manner in which these reports had been written and sent to the War Department. And he had cognizance of them only after repeatedly applying for copies, which were finally furnished him from Richmond, but unaccompanied by any of the subordinate reports purporting to substantiate them. The result is, that the official reports of the corps commanders at Shiloh (with the exception of General Breckinridge's, which we have never seen), instead of serving as a basis for history, are, on the contrary, erroneous in many important particulars, and differ widely from those of the other generals and subordinate officers who participated in the battle, as we have already conclusively shown.3

Commodore Hollins, on duty near Fort Pillow, was requested, on the 8th, to propose an exchange of prisoners in General Beauregard's name. Most of those we had taken immediately before and since the battle of Shiloh had been sent temporarily to Memphis,

1 ‘Campaigns of Lieutenant-General Forrest,’ p. 134, note.

2 That friend was General Breckinridge, who, in a letter to General Beauregard, stated that the corps commanders had been instructed to address their reports directly to the War Department, and that General Beauregard had better ascertain the contents of those documents.

3 See Chapters XX. and XXII., and their Appendices.

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