into proportions too gigantic for my notions of its importance, and thus far the results from the labors there have been insignificant compared with the means furnished. I am certainly indisposed to make any additions to the very large number of operatives now detailed from my command unless some results are to follow.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHATTANOOGA, TENN., August 14, 1862.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I had written you some days ago a long letter, which I hope has reached you before this, explaining why I had not written sooner. Until I reached here I was without my usual office assistance, and hence so much occupied that I could not write as satisfactorily to the Savannah Republican as I wished; and as the matter in question is one purely of history now I thought time of no moment compared with the effect I desire to make when I do write. I have written a paper on the points suggested in your notes, with some points [which I know you will approve] added. I have been calm, avoided epithets, and stated facts as I knew them, in simple language, without assailing P. W. A., if for no other reason than that there is higher game to fly at some day, as I will explain when we meet. I prefer to deal gently with P. W. A. as a dupe, which I know to be the case, while I see clear traces of the intrigues of others. The fact is, there was a hard-working party in the Army of the Mississippi engaged in under-rating you-men in various ways connected with the Army of Pensacola. These are the men to be watched, tracked, and, in due time, uncovered; not mere newspaper men like Alexander, who can be taken away from them. These fellows-I have my eye on them-are to adapters, sycophants, who think they do service to another high officer by intimating detraction of you, and some of them are staff officers. I see exactly the secret springs at work, and some others help me to see what my own powers of vision cannot reach. Be assured we are not mistaken. One of the first steps was to get rid of your staff after you left. It was partially done, and those who have been retained are objects of incessant petty jealousy-so much so that I should only remain a little while longer. I shall wait, hoping that you may obtain service. If not, I shall seek command of a brigade of Virginia troops in Virginia.
By the way, have you seen an article in a Montgomery paper based on a letter from Slaughter to the editor, with the reply of the editor, T. G. Reid, addressed to General Bragg? The letter of Slaughter, to say the least, is weak and unfortunate; that of the editor unmerciful and as cold as an avalanche of ice. It is a great pity that such matters should get into our papers or be in any way provoked. This is the second time Slaughter has written injudicious, vulnerable letters for General Bragg. He means well, but has neither the education nor natural ability for the important place he holds.
It is possible I may go to Vicksburg to arrange the final exchange of our prisoners, in which event I shall try to see you, as I do not desire to resume my duties on my return.
I shall have the copies made of the papers which you want and hand them to you.