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Chapter 35: visit to Tennessee.—Battle of Murfreesboro.

The President became anxious about affairs in the West, and was importuned to make a tour of observation there. As soon as he could leave the seat of government he went, accompanied by one of his aids, and subsequently wrote to me the following letter:

From President to Mrs. Davis.

Chattanooga, Tenn., December 15, 1862.
... We had a pleasant trip, and without an incident to relate, reached this place on the I ith, went to Murfreesboro on the 12th, and leave to-day for Mississippi. The troops at Murfreesboro were in fine spirits and well supplied. The enemy keep close in lines about Nashville, which place is too strongly fortified and garrisoned for attack by troops unprepared for regular approaches on fortifications. Much confidence was expressed in our ability to beat them if they advance. ... Last night, on my arrival here, a telegram announced the attack made at Fredericksburg. You can imagine my anxiety. No answer to [367] my inquiry for further information has yet arrived. If the necessity demands I will return to Richmond, though already there are indications of a strong desire for me to visit the further West, expressed in terms which render me unwilling to disappoint the expectation. ... General Johnston will go directly to Mississippi, and reinforce General Pemberton. Joe 1 was quite excited at hearing of active operations behind us, and spoke of returning to his brigade. Many of the officers inquired for Colonel Johnston and felt as I did, regret at his absence.

The results of the campaigns of the army of the West have been better presented than I could tell them, even if space were granted me for the purpose; but my husband's life was so full of events that I must confine myself strictly to his personal history.

The moral effects of the campaign of 1862 were great. The disasters of the early part of the year had been redeemed. The whole world paid homage to the military prowess and genius that the Confederates had exhibited. They had raised the siege of Richmond, threatened the Federal Capital, and driven back the invaders of their territory to their starting-point. “Whatever may be the fate [368] of the new nationality,” said the London Times, “in its subsequent claims to the respect of mankind it will assuredly begin its career with a reputation for genius and valor which the most famous nations might envy.”

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