War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0212 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI

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Mississippi to Tennessee, intending, should Lieutenant-General Pemberton's surmise prove correct, to continue to draw troops from his army. But in a few days Lieutenant-General Pemberton reported the United States Army returning, and the troops on the way to Bragg (none of which had arrived) were ordered back. This was about April 19, when the Federal Army was on the Mississippi in transports, or on the WEST side of the river, and Pemberton's condition far less unfavorable than it was at the time to which you refer, when the enemy had crossed the river and driven back his advanced troops.

In Paragraph XXXI, in explaining your orders to General Bragg of May 22, you say:

I knew from your own orders that you thought it more advisable to draw troops from Mississippi to re-enforce Bragg than to send troops from the latter to Pemberton.

I have transferred but two bodies of troops from Mississippi to Tennessee-the first a DIVISION of cavalry, the other a DIVISION of infantry; the first in January, when McClernand and Sherman had abandoned their siege of Vicksburg and Bragg had not begun to recover from the effects of the battle of Murfreesborough; the SECOND on April 13, when Grant's army had abandoned Vicksburg. I respectfully submit to Your Excellency that these orders do not prove that at a subsequent period- when the relative condition of the two armies was entirely changed, when Pemberton was most threatened, a powerful army having forced the passage of the Mississippi and beaten back his advanced troops-I thought it "more advisable to draw troops from Mississippi to re-enforce Bragg than to send troops from the latter to Pemberton. " But my sending back the DIVISION of infantry, employing a DIVISION of Bragg's cavalry to aid Pemberton in April, transferring a large brigade of cavalry into Mississippi on May 5, and applying for re-enforcements for Pemberton on the 7th suggesting that the withdrawal of Foster's troops might enable Beauregard to furnish them, prove the contrary. In Paragraph XXI Your Excellency refers to the constant desire shown in my correspondence, beginning early in January, that you should change the order placing Tennessee and Mississippi in one command under my direction. That desire was founded on the belief that the arrangement was not in accordance with military principles, which require that every army should have its own general, and especially that two armies far apart, having different objects and opposed to enemies having different objects, should not be under one general. I thought these armies too far apart to re-enforce each other on emergencies. Experience has confirmed that opinion. I thought, however, the troops in Arkansas should co-operate with those of Lieutenant-General Pemberton, for both had the same great object-the defense of the Mississippi Valley-and both were opposed to troops having one object-the possession of the Mississippi-and the main force of these troops was operating on this side of the river.

Permit me to say that, after careful consideration, I can find nothing in my three brief telegrams which seems to me to call for the animadversions in your last paragraph. They were written in answer to dispatches of yours; referred to an opinion of mine which had been corrected before your attention was called to it, and had no other object, besides the duty of replying to your dispatches, than to prevent your supposing that the opinion concerning which you questioned me was entirely unfounded; but whether well founded or unfounded, that opinion was a thing of the past when first brought to your notice, and therefore I cannot feel that the having once entertained it is a military offense or