for all that man holds dear, you have borne unexampled privations with fortitude, fought with undaunted bravery, and ever yielded a ready and cheerful obedience to your officers.
Soldiers who struggle in such a cause, and with such hearts, can never be conquered. Clouds and darkness may enshroud you for a time, but the sunlight of the future is bright and glowing; the blood of patriots is never shed in vain, and our final is certain and assured.
Whoever commands you, my earnest exhortation and request to you is, to fight on and fight ever, with true hearts, until your independence is achieved. Thousands of hearts may fall crushed and bleeding under the weapons of the foe, or the passions and mistakes of friends, but the great cause must never be sacrificed, or our flag abandoned. Our cause is just, and your duty to your contry and God is as clear as the sun in the heavens.
I leave my command in the care of the bravest of the brave, who has often led them in the darkest hour of their trials. He and you will have my hopes and prayers to the Ruler of the Universe for your happiness and success.
Your kindness, devotion and respect for me exhibited during the years of our association, both in camp and on the field, is graven on my heart, and will be treasured there until it ceases to beat.
BEFORE CHATTANOOGA, TENN.,
October 4, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of Confederate States, Richmond:
SIR: Your petitioners, general officers of the Confederate armies, now serving with the Army of Tennessee, impressed alike with the importance of the questions they propose to present to you and the responsibilities attached to their action, deem it their duty to make to you the following representations:
Disclaiming in this paper any criticism on the actions of their superiors, they desire to limit their representation to a statement of the existing status of affairs in this locality with suggestions which, in their judgment, will serve as a remedy for the existing evils.
Two weeks ago this army, elated by a great victory which promised to be the most fruitful of the war, was in readiness to pursue its defeated enemy. That enemy, driven in confusion from the field, was fleeing in disorder and panic-stricken across the Tennessee River.
To-day, after having been twelve days in line of battle in that enemy's front, within cannon range of his position, the Army of Tennessee has seen a new Sebastopol rise steadily before its view. The beaten enemy, recovering behind its formidable works from the effects of his defeat, is understood to be already receiving re-enforcements, while heavy additions to his strength are rapidly approaching him. Whatever may have been accomplished heretofore, it is certain that the fruits of the victory of the Chickamauga have now escaped our grasp. The Army of Tennessee, stricken with a complete paralysis, will in a few days' time be thrown strictly on the defensive, and may deem itself fortunate if it escapes from its present position without disaster.
5 R R-VOI XXX, PT II