War of the Rebellion: Serial 053 Page 0490 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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Berry,relieved at his own request. Major Berry will continue in the performance of his duties as commandant of the camp of instruction.

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By command of General Johnston:

BENJ. S. EWELL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

MORTON, MISS., August 12, 1863.

Mr. JOE DAVIS:

MY DEAR SIR: I deeply regret your absence from Mississippi at this time, as I feel you are in a position to be of great usefulness in a direction in which I think you would not be disinclined to interpose your good officer. This was a matter which I desired much to confer with you about on your trip eastward, but was prevented by the exigencies that beset us all at that time. Since then I fear it has grown into proportions requiring the intervention of wise counsels to prevent it leading to results injurious to the service and prejudicial in the last degree to the vital interests of the Republic, to say nothing of the unhappy personal which it is likely to engender. I allude of course to the controversy which has sprung up in various quarters in regard to affairs in this State-begun in the press, and gradually, I fear, beginning to be taken up with too much warmth by parties who would not do so, I think, could a calm and proper understanding of all the circumstances of the case be arrived at. This is essentially a time when feelings of a personal nature should be carefully exorcised.

I hope and feel that I occupy an impartial stand-point in this mater, and while free to confess to an affectionate appreciation of the many manly virtues and heroic qualities of General Johnston, I am as free to acknowledge the highest admiration for your illustrious brother. I know both of them to be impelled by the same noble impulses of devotion to their country, and I feel that could they thoroughly understand each other there would be no reason for the unhappy feelings which I fear a too well-grounded rumor asserts to exist between them. Whatever objections there may be in the mind of the President to the military policy of General Johnston, there certainly can be none on the score of personal respect and regard. And here allow me, in the frankness which your confidence heretofore inspired, to say to you without reservation, that in all the many and frequent conversations I have had with General Johnston I have never heard one word escape his lips savoring of any want of personal regard for the President. On the contrary he has cordial. I think you will agree with me that General Johnston would not dissemble his opinions, especially in the freedom of familiar intercourse, and I think you will alike agree with me that had he entertained any unpleasant personal feelings to the President I should have been apt to know it. Hence I confess that I am pained to hear that the President has taken up the impression that General Johnston entertains feelings personally inimical toward him. I would not repeat the rumor but for its universal prevalence and in the future hope of contributing a little mite in the way of bringing