The whole family of idlers, drones, and shirks, of high or low degree, far and near, would feel his searching hand, and be made to take their places and do their duty. Besides, I think, with a proper presentation of the importance of the duties to be performed, his acknowledged ability for their performance, &c., he would accept with pleasure, at least until he had reduced things all around to order.
This done, the way is clear for assigning General Johnston to the command of this army, a measure which would give universal satisfaction to officers and men.
Colonel Johnston informed me he thinks General J. desires to keep General Bragg in his present position. I think the case would be more properly stated by saying that he does not wish to be, or seem to be, the cause of his removal. I have conversed with him on the subject, and he feels a delicacy, as I understand it, in touching the case of a man to whose command he might succeed in the event of his being removed from it. I do not think I misapprehend his feelings, though, of course, think them morbid, and, in the present relations of the parties, misplaced. I know that General J. thinks himself but half employed, and that he would be much better satisfied commanding an army in the field than doing the duties of administering a department. If it should be thought he could not take charge of operations in the field, and administer the three departments now under his care, then separate Pemberton's, and restrict him to East Tennessee and Department Numbers 2. They go well together, and both he and Pemberton might report to you at Richmond.
Whether General J. is the best man for the place or not is not the question. The army and the West believe so, and both would be satisfied with the appointment, and I believe it the best that could be made.
Colonel Johnston leaves in the morning.
I beg leave to call your attention to a map accompanying my report of the battles before Murfreesborough, which I have sent forward with my report, just transmitted; also to the report itself. Both have been carefully prepared, and give, as I understand it, a faithful account of those operations. I have discussed them also with Colonel Johnston.
My report of the battle of Perryville was sent to General Bragg some time since, with the accompanying subordinate reports. It has, as I am informed, not yet been forwarded.
I remain, dear sir, faithfully, your friend,
HEADQUARTERS WHARTON'S CAVALRY DIVISION, Unionville, March 30, 1863-9 p. m.
Major General JOSEPH WHEELER,
Commanding Cavalry Corps:
GENERAL: Yours of the 29th instant has just been received. I wrote you yesterday, and from that you learn my desire. I much prefer to move around to Liberty and Lebanon. I will leave the Third Georgia at Beech Grove and [Z.] Thomason's battalion, that will be armed in a few days, with General Martin. The balance of my command, including Smith, at Woodbury, I will bring. I ask as a particular favor that [B.] Smith will be allowed to accompany me. There are many reasons for this, and I feel you will grant it. Roddey can guard this pike, and Patterson, Chapel Hill, as well as three times their number. I will have all my command except Third Georgia, Thomason's battalion, and First