I see Early, in a recent lecture or address, gives Longstreet a slap about slowness and unreadiness, and lack of prompt obedience at Gettysburg, and attributes disaster there to him. But the fact is, the disaster was almost inevitable from the character of the campaign, although, doubtless, all that Early says is true. The campaign was one that ought never to have been made. But will it ever be said in history, that Polk's, and even Bragg's, tardiness in quitting Corinth, and their slowness on the next day, kept us from reaching Shiloh in time to fight Saturday? I presume I have approached as close to the allegation as will ever be done, in my chapter on the battle, in the work on Forrest's campaigns. Were justice done Bragg he would figure very badly in several particulars, including gross duplicity and bad faith, both to Johnston and yourself. Proof of this is in a valuable book called ‘Diary of a Clerk of the War Department’ (Confederate), of which I wrote you once, and which you ought to have if you do not have it. The Federal side of the history is having all its own way; and it will be more and more so, year by year, until our great struggle will almost sink into oblivion, or leave little more trace behind than that of a pebble cast into a deep lake. Yours very truly,
Headquarters 1ST corps army of the Potomac, near Centreville, Dec. 18th, 1861.General,—It is the wish of the general commanding this corps to inaugurate a system by which leaves of absence shall be given to persons whose families or affairs actually need their early presence at home. For the present he has determined to grant leaves, to begin after Christmas, to the extent of two captains and five lieutenants from a regiment, and say at the rate of ten men—noncom-missioned officers and privates—from a company of average size. But he is anxious that these leaves should at first be extended to those in each regiment to whom it will be of the most essential and manifest service. Therefore, I am instructed to say, he desires these leaves to be determined by the recommendation of the colonels or commanders of the regiments, after an examination of pressing applications within the limits just prescribed. Not to exceed thirty days will be granted at present. Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Thomas Jordan, A. A.-Genl.
Summers House, Jan. 16th, 1862.Dear General,—My horse is so smooth shod, and it is so slippery, that I am afraid of him—fearful of a fall, as he was near falling with me to-day. I send over the paper, however, enclosed in the very envelope in which it came to this office. I saw General Johnston, and explained to him the design and effect of the publication of the order—he seeming quite satisfied. I was sorry to see Hill's note. The river will close soon under such cold as this afternoon.