[XX.] This is in substance a repetition of the previous statement, without any reason being given for it. The fact of orders being sent to you to transfer some of the troops in your department from one point to another to which you were proceeding in person could give no possible ground for your "considering" that Special Orders, Numbers 275, was rescinded or modified. Your command of your geographical district did not make you independent of my orders as your superior officer, and when you were directed by me to take troops with you to Mississippi, your control over the district to which you were assigned was in no way involved; but the statement that troops were transferred from Tennessee to Mississippi by order of the War Department when you were directed to repair to the latter State gives but half the fact, for although you were ordered to take with you 3,000 good troops, you were told to replace them by a greater number then on their way to Mississippi, and whom you were requested to divert to Tennessee, the purpose being to hasten
re-enforcements to Pemberton without weakening Bragg. This was in deference to your own opinion that Bragg could not be safely weakened; nay, that he ought even to be re-enforced at Pemberton's expense; for you had just ordered troops from Pemberton's command to re-enforce Bragg. I differed in opinion from you, and thought Vicksburg far more exposed to danger than Bragg, and was urging forward re-enforcements to that point both from Carolina and Virginia before you were directed to assume command in person in Mississippi.
[XXI.] I find nothing, then, either in your dispatch of l6th June or in any subsequent communication from you, giving a justification for your saying that you had not considered yourself commanding in Tennessee since assignment here)i. e., in Mississippi). Your dispatch of the 5th instant is again a substantial repetition of the same statement without a word of reason to justify it. You say, "I considered my assignment to the immediate command in Mississippi as giving me a new position and limiting my authority to this department. " I have characterized this as a grave error, and in view of all the facts, cannot otherwise regard it. I must add that a review of your correspondence shows a constant desire on your part, beginning early in January, that I should change the order placing Tennessee and Mississippi in one command under your direction, and a constant indication on my part whenever I wrote on the subject that in my judgment the public service required that the two armies should be subject to your control.
[XXII.] I now proceed to your SECOND statement in your telegram of 12th* June, that you "should not have felt authorized to take troops from that department (Tennessee) after having been informed by the Executive that no more could be spared. "
[XXIII.] To my inquiry for the basis of this statement, you answered on the 16th by what was in substance a reiteration of it.
[XXIV.] I again requested on the 17th that you should refer by date to any such communication as that alleged by you.
[XXV.] You answered on 20th June, apologized for carelessness in your first reply, and referred me to a passage from my telegram to you on the 28th May and to one from the Secretary of War of 5th June, and then informed me that you considered "Executive" as including Secretary of War.
[XXVI.] Your telegram of 12th June was addressed to the Secretary of War in t. It begins, "Your dispatch," and then speaks of the Executive in the THIRD person, and on reading it, it
*To Secretary of War.