War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0313 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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President that for one error of judgment (if such I have committed) I am to be thus dishonored by the man who was my own first choice for the Presidency of all the statesmen in the Confederacy, then I am forever done with the service, whether my resignation is accepted or not. I could not return to the Army pursued by the seance of humility, from which death without dishonor would be relief.

With respect, your obedient servant,

GID. J. PILLOW,

Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

SPECIAL ORDERS,] ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 196. Richmond, Va., August 22, 1862.

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XL. The reports of the Fort Donelson disaster having now been received and considered, it is impossible to acquit Brigadier General G. J. Pillow of grave errors of judgment in the military operation s which resulted in the surrender of the army, but there being no reason to question his courage and loyalty, his suspension from duty is removed, and will report to General B. Bragg for orders.*

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By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

OXFORD, MISS., August 27, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General, Richmond:

Is the order of suspension simply removed, without anything being said relieving me from censure? Am I required to report to General Van Dorn, or will the President allow me to report to General Bragg and assist in relieving my own State?

GID. J. PILLOW,

Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

RICHMOND, VA., September 12, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

The order of the Government restoring me to duty ascribes to me errors of judgment in the military operations at Donelson. The explanations as to what constitutes those errors, in our personal interview, indicated to my order to call of the pursuit of the army after the battle of the 15th February and back into the works as erroneous. In my communication of the 11th instant I gave my understanding of the objects and purposes of that combat, and solemnly asseverated that I never understood that the army was to retreat from the battle-field towards Charlotte, and I assigned reasons to show that that step was then impossible. I beg now to refer the Department to the original and supplemental reports of Colonel Gilmer, of the Engineer Corps, who was on duty with me at that post.

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*See Special Orders, Numbers 289, December 10, 1862.

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