with another on April 23. These two brigades constituted the force referred to in my dispatch of April 30. As soon as the falling back of the Federal Army made it practicable, Colonel [P. D.] Roddey was transferred to Mississippi with about two-THIRDS of the joint force.
In Paragraph XII you quote the dispatch of the War Department to me of June 5 as follows:
I regret inability to promise more troops, as we have drained resources even to the danger of several points. You know best concerning General Bragg's army, but I fear to withdraw more. We are too far outnumbered in Virginia to spare any, &c.
The dispatch sent to me reads thus:
I regret inability to promise more troops. Drained resources to the danger of several points. You know best concerning General Bragg's army, but I fear to withdraw more. We are too far outnumbered in it to spare any. You must rely on what you have and the irregular forces Mississippi can afford, &c.
This is one of the dispatches which gave me the impression that the Executive wished no more troops withdrawn from Tennessee.
V. I did not draw from that telegram the inference which you express in the next paragraph, but understood the words, "You know best concerning General Bragg's army," to refer to the acquaintance with military affairs in Middle Tennessee which I might be supposed to have acquired.
VI. In Paragraph XVII Your Excellency charges me with the abandonment of my duties as commanding general of a geographical district. I respectfully deny the commission of such a military crime. During the month ending June 10, in which I believed myself commanding only the Department of Mississippi, it was not possible for me to direct operations in Tennessee also. It is true that I might have drawn troops from it to Mississippi, but my opinion on that subject was expressed to the War Department in my dispatches of June 12 and 15, as follows:
To take from Bragg a force which would make this army fit to oppose Grant, would involve yielding Tennessee. It is for the Government to decide between this State and Tennessee. Nor is it for me to judge which it is best to hold-Mississippi or Tennessee; that is for the Government to determine. Without some great blunder by the enemy we cannot hold both.
In Paragraph XX you write:
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.
The time alluded to seems to be May 9, as your reference is to the order of that date. The United States Army had then crossed the Mississippi and defeated a large detachment of ours. To l have "ordered troops from Pemberton's command to re-enforce Bragg" at that time would have been evidence of the grossest incapacity. Your Excellency will therefore pardon me, I am sure, for denying the existence of such evidence. I have ordered troops from Mississippi to Tennessee but twice. On both occasions the condition of affairs was very different from that existing at the time referred to. The first order was that given to the cavalry early in January. It was explained in Paragraph IV. The SECOND was given about April 13, when Lieutenant-General Pemberton informed me that Grant had abandoned operations against Vicksburg and was moving his army up the river-he supposed to join Rosecrans. He had no enemy before him. Vicksburg was no longer threatened. Bragg, on the other hand, could not fully cover the country which fed his troops. I therefore directed a force equal to that sent from Bragg to Pemberton in December last, under your instructions, to be sent from