War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0924 Chapter XXXV. KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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RICHMOND, July 22, 1863.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Chattanooga, Tenn.:

After full consideration of the correspondence between the Executive, yourself, and General Buckner, it has been decided to extend your command over the department of General Buckner, and to constitute yours a separate and independent command. General Buckner will, however, still continue to correspond directly with this office.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

(A similar letter sent to General Buckner.)

RICHMOND, July 22, 1863.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Chattanooga, Tenn.:

in view of the telegram sent you yesterday, it is desirable to learn, before issuing the order, what you consider be the proper geographical limits of your command, south and west.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

CHATTANOOGA, July 22, 1863.

PRIVATE.]

[General LEE:?]

DEAR GENERAL: You will excuse me for addressing you privately, because in no other way I say to you candidly what you ought to know. The depots, with-shops, and magazines at Atlanta are in great danger. Expeditions of a formidable character are preparing for their destruction, and, if successful, may even move on to powder works at Augusta. I am advised that General Rosecrans has the fullest information on all these points, derived in a great measure from our own newspapers. They have already advised him fully of my dispositions, especially the cavalry posted to cover these points.

Atlanta is the great point of most importance dependent on this army for protection. I feel its weakness and exposed condition, utterly indefensible by present arrangements. But, as these arrangements have been made by the War Department without consulting me, and my efforts on two occasions to improve them have been disapproved and my orders countermanded, I feel unwilling to insult the displeasure of the Department again. No harm, however, can arise from my saying what I feel to you on this subject, privately, and, if you think proper you may use the information in any way or suppress it. Captain G. W. Lee may be fully worthy of the confidence he enjoys, but, from a close observation of his career since the commencement of this war, when he reported to me at Pensacola, I have been unable to fiend his merits. But, admitting his capacity, he has no means for the necessary end, and he cannot procure or create them. Unable to supersede him, i cannot send troops to report to him, as their officers will rank him. You will see and appreciate my embarrassment.

Why the Department should erect this independent command within my geographical department it is unnecessary for me to inquire, but feeling the anxiety I do on the subject, you will excuse me for this unusal course. I should not be held blameless in case of disaster, through my correspondence will show my endeavors to bring about some change.