a willingness to act as your aide-de-camp while you were lying in a state of inactivity in a safe place in the rear. I supposed in the case of an exigency, such as we passed through when our army was driven back from Missionary Ridge to Ringgold, that you might leave your safe retreat and to the front. But if I had no higher ambition to serve the country and no more important duties to perform I could not, of course, except to be favored with a position upon your staff so long as your retreat is safe and comfortable, as you probably have no place to spare after you have provided for your numerous relatives, whose prior claims upon you entitled them to preference in sharing the honor with you.
As in your reference to the words "personal knowledge" you say you had no reason to believe that I had been dishonorable or unjust in my speculations, I need only remark that had I understood you then as I now do I should have made no allusion to certain complications in your own past financial history. I did it upon the principle that "those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. "
As I made no allusion in my letter, however, which had not truth for its foundation, and as a statement of truth can never be a "malicious slander," I can see no just reason why it should have thrown you into so towering a passion; nor can I attempt to imitate the elevation of thought, the elegant style, or the refined taste of the closing paragraph of your reply.
JOSEPH E. BROWN.
JUNE 6, 1864.
This communication and the author are alike unworthy of further notice.
Richmond, Va., May 31, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
DEAR SIR: I am happy to inform you that after some little struggle the bill to authorize the conferring temporary rank passed both Houses last evening, and the motion to reconsider failed. It may be regarded, therefore, as settled, and I venture to suggest that the nominations required be at once prepared and made. Will you send me the names required by General Lee for the respective positions? General Lee sent me again last night an urgent message as to the imperative necessity for these appointments.
Very truly, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
HEADQUARTERS GEORGIA RESERVES,
Macon, Ga., May 31, 1864.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: It is with great reluctance I address you at this important and critical juncture upon the subject of this letter, but believing that the