is disposed to give aid and comfort to your enemies for the sake of his own selfish ends and gain. I may be wrong, and therefore will not name him until I feel better absurd. Meantime I inclose a newspaper slip* which was written by that man Alexander, whom you expelled as a letter-writer, and who, I feel sure, got his notion about the "lost opportunity" from the officer in question, for I heard a Senator say the same thing one day, who had come to my office with that same officer, at whose quarters the Senator was staying, and the officer rather assented; besides Alexander was well acquainted with the officer whom I suspect of starting the under-current.
Now, Prentiss repeatedly said to me on the evening of the 6th that Buell would be up that night, and doubtless he said as much to you. He certainly did not attempt to deceive me, but boasted of the defeat that must ensue to us from the coming of Buell, and in the morning when the firing began he remarked, "Ah! did I not tell you so? They are at it." As for the intrenchment matter, abundant evidence was given to show none existed and none was feared, and I do not believe Prentiss said what is stated, but the main matter is the alleged order from you to withdraw (not so).
I was in the advance when the troops began the retrograde, Sunday. It must have been after 6 p.m., and so weary and scattered were the troops that no combined advance seemed practicable. At the time I saw no officer of rank present, and I feel sure General Bragg was in my rear. I have never understood from you that you actually gave any order to cease the pursuit; but that when it had ceased, simply because of the exhaustion of the men after meager meals for twenty-four hours and twelve hours of continuous fighting, you then gave orders to have the straggling, scattered fragments of regiments, brigades, and corps collected together and posted in advance of Shiloh. It was sundown when I joined you from the front near Shiloh Church.
Now, permit me to suggest to you to address a note to Generals Bragg and Hardee, both of whom are referred to in the scarp inclosed, and call their attention to the matter and inquire for a statement of events of the last hour of the battle of April 6. I have particular reasons for urging this, for I see a ramified plot to make it appear that had General Johnston lived the advantage would have been pressed on Sunday so effectually as to have made Buel halt on the east bank of the river. I hear around me murmurs of the smaller conspirators, and can trace the leaders too, I think; the cue came from Richmond.
Excuse this long letter, so long deferred. I will write again soon, and will keep you advised of all matters of interest. I have the papers you sent me, and will watch carefully, be assured, for your record. I have shown our answers to the feelbel interrogatories. I have no means of printing them just yet, but I shall give them circulation. I shall try to write you oftener and shorter notes. This I shall send (July 10) by Dr. Choppin. Excuse this illegible hand, which I have come to write from writing so much and so fast.
Your nephew is still with me (young Proctor), and has become very useful to me. I shall take care of him.
As I can, I shall overhaul all the records to see what properly belongs to your military history since June, 1861.
P. S.-What force or fortune could be harder than that of General Joe
41 R R-VOL XVII, PT II