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Gen. Bragg's Fitness for command--Gen. Joe Johnston's opinion.

In the House of Representatives on Monday the following correspondence was sent in, in compliance with a resolution adopted by that body some days since:

Adj't and Insp'r Gen's Office,
Richmond, Now 14, 1862.
Special Orders, No. 275.

III. Gen. J E. Johnston, C. S. A., is hereby assigned to the following geographical command, to wit: Commending with the Bine Ridge range of mountains, running through the western part of North Carolina, and following the line of said mountains through the northern part of Georgia to the railroad south from Chattanooga; thence by that road to West Point, and down the west or right bank of the Chattahoochee river to the boundary of Alabama and Florida; following that boundary west to the Choctahatchie river, and down that river to Choctahatchie bay — including the waters of that bay — to the Gulf of Mexico. All that portion of country west of said line to the Mississippi river is included in the above command. Gen. Johnston will, for the purpose of correspondence and reports, establish his headquarters at Chattanooga, or such other place as in his judgment will best secure facilities for ready communication with the troops within the limits of his command, and will repair in person to any part of said command whenever his presence may for the time be necessary or desirable.


By command of the Secretary of War.
John Withers, A. A. C.
His Excellency the President, Richmond, Va.

Also, the following extracts from the correspondence between the President and General Johnston, to show that in retaining Gen. Bragg in command of his army he acted in accordance with the judgment of Gen Johnston, in preference to adopting that of gentlemen in civil life, who clamored for his removal:

Richmond, Va. Jan. 22, 1862.
Gen. J. E. Johnston, Jackson, Miss., and Mobile, Ala:

I wish you with the least delay to proceed to the headquarters of Gen. Bragg's army. You will fined explanatory letter at Chattanooga.

(Signed) Jeff. Davis.

[Extract from copy of letter.]

Richmond, Va., Jan. 22, 1863.
Gen. J. E. Johnston, Chattanooga, Tenn.,

As announced in my telegram, I address this letter to you [explaining] the purpose for which I desire you to proceed promptly to the headquarters of Gen. Bragg's army.


You will, I trust, be able, by conversation with Gen. Bragg and others of his command, to decide what the best interests of the service require, and to give me the advice which I need at this juncture. As that army is a part of your command, no order will be necessary to give you authority there, as, whether present or absent, you have a right to direct its operations and do whatever else belongs to the General commanding.

Very truly and respectfully yours,

(Signed)Jeff. Davis.

Extract from letter of Gen. J. E. Johnston.]

Tullahoma, Feb, 3d. 1863.
Mr. President: Your telegram ordering me to Gen. Bragg's headquarters was received in Mobile, when I was on my way to them. Your letter of January 22d reached me here on the 30th.


My principal object has been to ascertain the feeling existing in the regiments, being confident that if the soldiers are not depressed we can have nothing to fear; for it is not to be supposed that the deal of General officers can be impaired by any want of confidence in their General's skill. Incessant rain has permitted me to see but a fourth of the troops as yet. They are represented by their field officers to be in high spirits, and as ready as ever for fight.

I am very glad to find that your confidence in Gen. Bragg is unshaken. My own is confirmed by his recent operations, which, in my opinion, evince great vigor and skill. It would be very unfortunate to remove him at this juncture, when he has just earned, if not won, the gratitude of the country.

After seeing all the troops I shall writs again. I respectfully suggest that should it then appear to you necessary to remove General Bragg, no one in this army, or engaged in this investigation, ought to be his successor.

Most respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

(Signed,) J. E. Johnston,Gen'l.
His Excellency the President.

[Extract from a letter of Gen. J. E. Johnston]

Tullahoma, Feb.12, 1863.
Mr. President; Since writing to you on the 3d, I have seen the whole army. Its appearance is very encouraging, and gives positive assurance of Gen. Bragg's capacity to command. It is well clothed, healthy, and in fine spirits. The brigades engaged at Murfreesboro' are now stronger than they were on the morning of the battic — mainly by the return of the absentees brought back by the General's vigorous system.


My object has been to ascertain if the confidence of the troops in the ability of the army to beat the enemy is at all impaired.

I find no indications that it is less than when you were in its camps.

While this feeling exists, and you regard General Bragg as brave and skillful, the fact that some of all of the General officers of the army, and many of the subordinates, think that you might give them a commander with fewer defects, cannot, I think, greatly diminish his value. To me it seems that the operations of this army in Middle Tennessee have been conducted admirably. I can find no record of more effective fighting in modern battles than that of this army on December, evincing skill in the commander and courage in the troops, which fully entitle them to the thanks of the Government.

In the early part of January, the country north of Grenada being considered impracticable; I directed Major-General Van Dorn to bring to Gen. Bragg's aid the cavalry of the Mississippi army, except such as Lieut, Gen. Pemberton considered necessary to him.****

I have been told by — that they have advised you to remove Gen. Bragg and place me in command of this army. I am sure that you will agree with me that the part I have borne in this investigation would render it inconsistent with my personal honor to occupy that position. I believe, however, that the interest of the service requires that Gen. Bragg should not be removed.

Most respectfully, your obed't serv't.

J. E. Johnston.

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