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[407] transfer had not been effected, is it not a fact—well known to Mr. Davis—that, while in command of a mere military district,1 under General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Department of Northern Virginia, General Beauregard corresponded directly with the Secretary of War, with the Adjutant-General, and with the President himself, without incurring the displeasure, or in any way interfering with the red-tape routine, of the War Department? General Beauregard did the same thing again when he commanded an army in Western Tennessee, under General A. S. Johnston. The President and the War Department had never been known to be so punctilious as to the observance of military etiquette in matters of this kind, and Mr. Davis had clearly violated it before General Beauregard's departure from Tupelo.

The order removing General Beauregard read as follows:

Richmond, June 20th, 1862.
General Braxton Bragg, Tupelo, Mississippi:

Your despatch, informing me that General Beauregard had turned over the command to you and left for Mobile, on surgeons' certificate, was duly received. You are assigned permanently to the command of the department, as will be more formally notified to you by the Secretary of War. You will correspond directly, and receive orders and instructions from the government in relation to your future operations.


The opportunity was seized upon, and, under the transparent pretense of affronted dignity, President Davis worked his will. Thus was consummated an act of grossest injustice, one of the most inexcusable abuses of power perpetrated by him during the war. This was not all. His irritation at an assumed slight to his authority induced him to go still further. He prepared the list of interrogatories contained in a letter of instructions to Colonel W. P. Johnston, A. D. C., dated Richmond, June 14th, the day General Beauregard's first despatch was received. This reached General Beauregard in Mobile, on the 20th, and shows the searching ingenuity used to find him at fault, not only with regard to the evacuation of Corinth, but also as to all orders and instructions issued or given by him, for the defence of the Mississippi River. These interrogatories and General Beauregard's

1 The ‘Potomac District,’ created in October, 1861. See General Orders No. 15, Adjutant and Inspector General's office, in Appendix to Chapter XIII.

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