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[404] telegram reached General Bragg without having first been sent to General Beauregard, as was clearly required by all rules of propriety and of military usage. None will deny that, at that time (14th of June), General Beauregard was still in command of Department No. 2, and of the Confederate army encamped at Tupelo. The full text of the telegram referred to is not in our possession. It was an order addressed to General Bragg, and sending him to Mississippi, to relieve General Lovell. Mr. Davis, in his book, gives its concluding part, as follows:

After General Magruder joins, your further services there may be dispensed with. The necessity is urgent.


General Bragg referred this communication, so irregularly forwarded, to General Beauregard, who, immediately after reading it, telegraphed General Cooper, in these words:

Tupelo, June 14th, 1862.
General Bragg has just communicated to me a telegram sending him to relieve, temporarily, General Lovell. His presence here I consider indispensable at this moment, especially as I am leaving for a while on surgeon's certificate. For four months I have delayed obeying their urgent recommendations in that respect. I desire to be back here to retake the offensive as soon as our forces shall have been sufficiently reorganized. I must have a short rest.


There was nothing improper or discourteous in the foregoing despatch. No one could have interpreted it to involve disobedience of the President's order. That it was laconic we readily concede, but telegraphic despatches are never otherwise. We ask the reader to examine its phraseology carefully, and say whether it could be so construed as to convey the idea that General Beauregard was about ‘to leave, on surgeon's certificate, for four months.’ Knowing, however, that he had not sufficiently explained himself, and wishing to create no false impression as to his intentions, General Beauregard, on the succeeding day, wrote the following letter:

Headquarters Western Department, Tupelo, Miss., June 15th, 1862.
General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
General,—After delaying, as long as possible, to obey the oft-repeated recommendations of my physicians to take some rest, for the restoration of my health, I have concluded to take advantage of the present lull in the operations of this army, due to the necessity of attending to its organization and discipline, and to the uncertain movements of the enemy, for absenting myself


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