War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0306 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA. Chapter XVII.

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capitulation. I then left the garrison, crossed the river in a small hand flat, leaving my horses and servant in Dover. At that time no steamboat had reached Dover; my horse was brought over by the steamboat that arrived afterwards. When it crossed over, General Floyd, my trunk (all the baggage I had), and my servant were brought up the river in the steamboat in which General Floyd and a portion of his command reached Clarksville.

These facts all appear in the proofs now in your possession, and are susceptible of proof by more than one hundred witness. If, from all the facts, the President thinks my conduct censurable, it is my duty to submit to his judgment; but if I cannot sever the Government satisfactorily, I would prefer to retire. Indeed, but for the interest I felt in the issues involved in this great revolution I would not have accepted the commission I now hold. The fortunes of war have placed [me] as the principal actor in two hard-fought and bloody fields (of Belmont and Donelson), where we fight most unequal numbers. In what I considered the most meritorious service of my life-the battle of Donelson or Dover-it was my misfortune to have been placed after the battle was fought in a position which brings upon me the displeasure of the Government.

While resting under this displeasure, two of the brother general officers from my own State, who came into the Tennessee army under me, as its commanding general, and neither of whom had then performed any distinguished services or fought any battle, ar promoted over me. I originally thought this was done under misapprehension of my position. If it shall turn out this impression of mine was erroneous, it becomes questionable if my honor as an officer is not so far compromised as to make it my duty to retire. Until I know the decision of the President I cannot determine my own course. Painful as would be the necessity of retiring at a time of so much peril to the country, yet I could not hesitate in my course if satisfied that I was the object of intentional injustice. To be just is the highest duty of government. I et have the fullest confidence in the President's sense of justice. If any part of my conduct is not properly understood by him, or if he has received from any quarter statements contradictory to mine, [I] ask at his hands information of the fact, that I may have an opportunity of explanation or refutation.

My apology for troubling you with this long communication must be found in the circumstances in which I am placed. The great delay and uncertainty of the mails induces me to send Major Nicholson, my aide-de-camp, with it. I trust you will find it convenient to place in his hands such orders as in the President's judgment are proper.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

TUPELO, MISS., June 21, 1862.


Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

On the 11th day of March last I was suspended from command by order of the President, and through the Secretary of War interrogatories were propounded to me in regard to the operations of the army at Donelson. These interrogatories were promptly answered, and, together with my supplemental report, were delivered to the Government.

That there might be no doubt left upon the mind of the President as