manding general and to my Government, and of repelling in respectful language, as I have done, an unjust insinuation in the note to which mine was a reply, in regard to the occupancy of my department by the enemy while that department, though separate, was subordinate to the authority of the general commanding.
It was also my right to claim, as my only means of acting intelligently in regard to them, to be possessed of the orders of the head of my Government, which were referred to as defining the official relations which existed between me and my superior in command.
It is for the commanding general, of course, to judge whether such a paper as I claim to have written is fit and proper amongst the records of his office, but I trust that a reconsideration of the subject-matter will convince him that a proper degree of self-respect in a subordinate is as far removed from disrespect to a superior, as true military subordination is from servility.
My military character, which is not altogether unknown in this army, and my military conduct, which has been more than once commended by the commanding general himself, are sufficient proofs that I possess the former requisite. My character as a man is, I trust, also so well established that I have no apprehensions of descending to the latter.
I have the honor to renew my application to be furnished with a copy of the instructions and orders which affect my late department and my command. It is a right which a junior can legitimately claim as affecting his duties to the Government which he serves. If denied, it will probably be the first instance on record in any country where an important order affecting all the official relations of an officer to his Government is withheld.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. B. BUCKNER,
[Sub-inclosure Numbers 4.]
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Missionary Ridge, October 25, 1863.
(Through Major-General Cheatham, Comdg. Corps):
GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 23rd instant, in relation to the Department of East Tennessee, the general commanding directs me to say that, having been assigned with a portion of your command from the Department of East Tennessee by competent authority, your administrative control over that geographical department necessarily ceased from that time.
In this opinion the President concurred when he was here, and you were accordingly required to assume the command of the troops suitable to your rank and position in this army.
In that capacity, a division commander, you are therefore recognized and in no other. And you are required by the general commanding to desist from the exercise of any other authority in this military department.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE WM. BRENT,