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[94] in it, since the copy which was sent to him recently seems to have been the first that he ever saw. His friends have known that he has felt that the great moment for the Confederacy, its supreme hour, when its destiny was decided, was that moment when General Bragg abandoned his plan of attempting to cut off the retreat of Rosencranz. It may be that Longstreet knew that Bragg came to that determination because of information which he had received from Forrest. At all events, thirty-three years after this battle, General Longstreet, the survivor of all the able generals of the Confederate army, expresses the deliberate opinion that, “this dispatch fixed the fate of the Confederacy.” In that opinion he does not agree with some of the other military leaders. Whether the military historians will agree with him or not, the fact remains that the discovery of this dispatch and Longstreet's opinion, that it contained the destiny of the Confederate States will be accepted as a most valuable contribution to the military history of the Civil War.

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