ministration of the department and of the troops remained exclusively with me. Even though, as General Bragg contends, the administrative mantle should have fallen from my shoulders, where is the authority to assume the garment himself? If, as he intimates, my administrative authority ceased at the instant I left the limits of my department, by parity of reasoning his administrative authority over the same department and the same troops, under the supposition that it had existed, would also have ceased under similar circumstances. But it has already been shown that such authority was not with him, but with me. Even under his construction I might possibly have at least the shadow of a claim to jurisdiction, while he would not have even such a semblance. If then, in exercising such authority, I should be considered as usurping, what construction is to be placed upon his action in exercising functions to which, by his own showing, he had not the shadow of a claim?
But the commanding general unnecessarily rebukes me when he assumes that I have been recently exercising administrative authority within the limits of my department. Upon leaving there I directed my officers to report to General Saml. Jones, and requested that officer to take charge in my absence of that portion of the department in his vicinity. If I have interfered with the administration since, as I am not conscious of having done, it is for General Jones and not General Bragg to make complaint. So particular was I in this that when the commanding general, still recognizing my administrative control, directed me, after I had reached Chattanooga, to order the evacuation of Cumberland Gap, I transmitted the order to General Jones as General Bragg's order and not mine; for having left him in charge, I deemed his own discretion should serve as his guide. I have not interfered with the administration of East Tennessee, as seems to be charged upon me, or at least, insinuated, unless it be an interference when officers are organized out of position here, to send them back to General Jones, that he may make them useful in their appropriate positions.
My official action in every case has been guided by general military principles which must govern individual cases. If the commanding general will judge my conduct by the just rule, I am confident he can only commend my actions, and until very recently I have had the satisfaction of receiving his commendation.
The principle of command and administration for which I am contending was recognized mainly by him, notwithstanding particular interferences with the cavalry organizations. Though he took from me a cavalry division, he substituted its full equivalent in an infantry division; when subsequently he took away that division, he gave me another in its place; when I represented that as a separate, though subordinate department commander, I was entitled to a command, either the same or the equivalent of what I brought with me, he conceded, in his action, the justice of the claim, with an assurance that, so far from lessening my command from a want of confidence in my military abilities, he had taken the occasion of a special messenger to commend me to the President. He was satisfied then with my actions until very recently, and the approbation of a commander, next to his self-approval, is gratifying to a soldier.
But on the 11th instant it was my misfortune, when the conversation was properly elicited, to express it as my opinion, in the presence of the commanding general, that, while I entertained for him feelings of personal kindness, I did not regard him, at this crisis, as the