Bragg, from which you will see that my duties have been increased, and, in fact, a new set of duties imposed upon me, which I have cheerfully undertaken.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE,
Missionary Ridge, November 2, 1863.
* * * * * * *
II. All that portion of territory of this department south and east of Oostenaula and Coosa Rivers will constitute the District of Northwest Georgia, to the command of which Major General Howell Cobb is hereby assigned.
All officers and troops serving therein will report to and receive orders from him.
* * * * * * *
By command of General Bragg:
GEORGE WM. BRENT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE, Missionary Ridge, November 8, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
GENERAL: In forwarding to the Department this voluminous and labored correspondence of Major-General Buckner, it must not be expected that I can enter in such a controversy of words. Neither my time nor my inclination will allow it. For a proper understanding of his position, I am obliged to notice briefly some of the points he makes in his letter to me of the 3rd instant.
He is not correct in supposing or saying I ever recognized his rights or acts as a department commander after he was withdrawn from the limits of that department. The claim to me seems so absurd that I never supposed he entertained it until my attention was called to it by his acts, when I promptly corrected him. My verbal remarks to Generals Polk and Longstreet in my conferences with them as corps commanders, related entirely to General Buckner's claim to a command equal to "the contingent he had brought from his department to the support of this army." And on this point I only made a temporary arrangement to gratify him until the question could be referred to and settled by higher authority. It was so referred to the President and verbally decided against the general.
Special Orders, Numbers 260, to which he refers, does not afford the slightest ground for the general's claim. It orders an officer to report to the general to proceed to Southwest Virginia to collect and bring to this army stragglers left behind who belong to it. Such orders are given daily and confer no jurisdiction on any one. They can only be executed by consent of the commander whose department is entered.
No notice was served on General Buckner that his command ceased when he vacated the department, nor was any served on him when he left Fort Donelson, or on General J. K. Jackson when he left