War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0316 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA. Chapter XVII.

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ernment will see the injustice done me in ascribing to me an error of judgment. My order for the army to be called off from the pursuit and brought back into the works alone saved it from being crushed by the large, fresh force of the enemy which did in a short time afterwards attack and carry a portion of General Buckner's rifle pits.

For these reasons the order of the Government ascribing to me error of judgment I feel is unjust, and I respectfully request that part of the case may be held by the Government for further information, which I hope to present to the Department in the future.

I also ask that the Department will, in writing, specify the points of error ascribed to me as stated in our verbal conversation, believing that, when the errors are stated in order, they will be less injurious to me than the general ascription of errors without specifying them. I cannot believe the President or yourself will do me intentional injustice, and yet, as the order now stands, I feel that it is more hurtful to my reputation than if the errors were pointed out.



OXFORD, MISS., October 10, 1862.


Secretary of War:

Having made up my mind to retire from the service unless a reconsideration of its action by the Government shall cause a correction of those acts considered unjust towards me, I consider it respectful to the Government as well as due to my own reputation as a patriot to explain the reasons of my determination. In doing so, I may refer to past occurrences, in which the President has felt but little interest, yet, as they are truths, in which the President has felt but little interest, yet, as they are truths, they should be known as parts of the story of this war.

When Tennessee, by her declaration of independence, has separated herself from the Lincoln Government, she provided by law for raising and arming a force of 55,000 men, and placed me, as the senior major-general, in command of this force. When I had organized about 35,000 of this force, had established shops for the manufacture of cannon and small-arms of every description, and had gathered a large amount of powder and other material of war, and before an had been transferred to the Confederate service, the President appointed Bishop Polk, of Louisiana, a major-general, and assigned him to the command of the department which embraced my then field of operations, and instructed him to have the Tennessee forces transferred to the Confederate service. Subsequently he tendered me the appointment of major-general. That I should have felt deeply humiliated at being thus deprived of my command, reduced in rain, and placed under the orders of a priest, who had devoted his life to religious pursuits and had no experience in the field as a military man, ought not to excite surprise. That this injustice should have been done by a fallot-soldier of the Mexican war, for whom I had always cherished a warm friendship and for whom I had a high admiration, neither diminished my surprise nor mortification. From a sense of duty to the country (under certain pledges of the major-general), I accepted the position.

Subsequently I fought the battles of Belmont and Donelson. In both of these battles the great inequality of the forces engaged made the conflicts most unequal and bloody. In both our arms were victorious. In the battle of Donelson the forces commanded by myself fought with brilliant success and with a gallantry never surpassed. Had General