War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0325 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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Richmond, December 10, 1862.

On review of the communication of Brigadier General G. J. Pillow, construed as a tender of his resignation and acted on by its acceptance, but not, as General Pillow contends, so intended or correctly interpreted, the order accepting his resignation is revoked, and he will be regarded as having never surrendered his commission. He will report to General Joseph E. Johnston for duty.

By command of Secretary of War:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Brigadier-General PILLOW, Richmond.

MARIETTA, GA., October 1, 1863.

His Excellency President DAVIS:

SIR: In addressing you this unofficial letter, calling your attention to a matter of personal interest to myself, I simply appeal to your sense of justice, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, in the only way I can communicate personally with you.

I do not believe I cannot believe, you capable of intentional injustice to any man of officer, much less to one who has been your personal and political friend for the last fifteen years. Yet, as matters no stand, I feel that great injustice has been done me, and that your alone have the power of correction. I allude to the order of the Secretary of War, Mr. Randolph, in regard to the operations of the army at Fort Donelson. Without intending any reelection upon Mr. Randolph, it is nevertheless not improper to inform you that he was my personal enemy, growing out of my controversy with General Scott, in which Mr. N. P. Trist (Mr. Randolph's brother-in-law) was a chief witness. I think it the more necessary to give this information because you mentioned in my presence to Mr. Randolph that you had not seen the order until in that interview.

Knowing the view your took of the operations of the army at that place, upon the ten existing state of the case at it apparition the record (the Secretary's order having been based entirely on the report of General Buckner, in which I know he had fallen into error), I have since taken the testimony of General B. R. Johnson, General Forrest, and Colonel Gilmer, all of whom testify that, in the then condition of our army and inthe face of General C. F. Smith's fresh force of 20,000 men, a successful retreat of our army was impracticable, and that no previous determination to retreat from the battle-filed had been determined upon or ever suggested.

I have also taken the sworn testimony of four other witnesses, to with: Captain Hinson, Dr. Moore, Captain Newberry, and Lieutenant Hillister, all of whom testify that the enemy had not reinvested our position or army on the night of the 15h February, as was then supposed, and never did reinvest, and that the army was surrendered under a delusion, and that our army could have marched out on the night of the 15th or morning of the 16th February without any obstacle or opposition. If these facts be so, and they are fully so proved by the most indisputable testimony, it follows as a necessary consequence that I was right in not attempting to retreat when it was impracticable on the 15th, and that the error was committed by the officers who refused to march out on