RICHMOND, VA., June 30, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston,
After full examination of all the correspondence between you and myself and the War Office, including the dispatches referred to in your telegram of the 20th instant, I am still at a loss to account for your strange error in stating to the Secretary of War that your right to draw re-enforcements from Bragg's army had been restricted by the Executive or that your command over the Army of Tennessee had been withdrawn.
In compliance with you request, I am engaged in correspondence with General Bragg on the subject of making such new arrangements as shall relieve you hereafter of the command of his department. Your suggestion to extend Bragg's command over East Tennessee is likewise the subject of correspondence, and your recommendation to attempt a movement in Kentucky has been approved, and every effort will be made to carry into effect that as well as any other practicable movement to aid you.
RICHMOND, VA., July 2, 1866.
General JOSEPH E. Johnston:
I have this day sent a dispatch to General E. K. Smith and to your care. Please send copies of the dispatch to General Smith by several reliable couriers, going at different times, so as to insure its speedy delivery.
HEADQUARTERS CANEY CREEK, MADISON COUNTY,
VIA JACKSON, July 4, 1863.
His Excellency President DAVIS:
Your dispatch of the 2nd instant received, but none of it can be deciphered. Please repeat.
J. E. Johnston.
CANEY CREEK CAMP, July 5, 1863.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT:
Your dispatch of June 30 received. I considered my assignment to the immediate command in Mississippi as giving me a new position and limiting my authority to this department. The orders of the War Department transferring three separate bodies of troops from General Bragg's army to this, two of them without my knowledge and all of them without consulting me, would have convinced me had I doubted. These orders of the War Department expressed its judgment of the number of troops to be transferred from Tennessee. I could no more control this judgment by increasing the number than by forbidding the transfer. I regret very much that an impression which seemed to me to be natural should be regarded by you as a strange error. I thank Your Excellency for your approval of the several recommendations you mention.
J. E. Johnston.