War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0654 KY.,SW. VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N. ALA.,AND N. GA. Chapter XLIII.

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Sixth. Letter from General Bragg on the general subject of my correspondence.

Seventh. My response.

As the correspondence above alluded to explains itself, I will only remark in reference to it, that my letter of the 25th [26th] ultimo (marked Numbers 5) contains the resume of the whole subject, and the arguments and statements in reference to my position.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



[Sub-inclosure Numbers 1.]

HEADQUARTERS BUCKNER'S DIVISION, Near Chattanooga, November 5, 1863.


President Confederate States, Richmond:

Mr. PRESIDENT: Your letter of the 29th ultimo to General Bragg has, as you desired, been shown me, and you will not consider it improper if I acknowledge it.

Your decision in reference to the extent of my authority is of course recognized by me, not only as binding, but as satisfactory. But as the circumstances under which I exercised the authority and the principles which governed my action have been but imperfectly presented to you, I request, at your convenience, a perusal of the accompanying papers. I am confident, when you shall have read them, that your sense of justice will not attributed my action to a factious opposition, but rather to a desire to maintain the dignity of the commission which I hold in the Confederate Army.

Permit me to express my regrets, Mr. President, that you should have alluded even remotely to the possibility of my having been influenced in my public duty by an unworthy ambition. Had you reflected upon my connection with this revolution, I am confident you would not for a moment have done me that injustice. In the beginning of the war I discarded alike the allurements of fortune and high position in the Northern army, because my heart and my convictions of right and duty were with this people. In thus following the fortunes of the South, I do not claim that I made a sacrifice, for nothing can be rightly weighed against principle; but in voluntarily choosing poverty and inferior military position, I have at least given evidence of my sincerity. Had I been a soldier of fortune, I would have been in arms against you. Could I have reconciled it with my sense of duty, I might have been living luxuriously in Europe, and left the contest of principle to others. Claiming to be a patriot, I rejected at the outset the ignoble inducements which have influenced many, and offered my services to you without conditions in behalf of the Southern people. From that time I have claimed no other position than that which you have given me, nor has any friend, with my knowledge, importuned you in my behalf. I have not envied the more distinguished soldiers who have been promoted more rapidly, but have rejoiced in their advancement. I have been content in the position where your own judgment decided I could best serve the country.

Before reading your letter, Mr. President, it was my purpose, for the reasons stated in the accompanying letter of the 26th ultimo, to apply to be relieved from duty with this army. But I will give you