mand, but when once placed in it, it is matter of interest for me to assure myself that I am displaced by proper authority. In the present case, I think it clearly shown that the authority of the commanding general was not competent to do what he has done.
I think his conduct toward me has been arbitrary and unjust. I think I have shown that, while he has been seeking to fix upon me some indefinite usurpation of authority in violation of some orders, from which he has not removed the veil of mystery that he has thrown around them, he has himself been exceeding the authority of his own position. I think the tone of his communications, the imperious style of his indorsements, the indignant silence, or the returning with exhibitions of temper of respectful communications whose facts or reasons he could not refute; his singular persistence, while holding me strictly accountable for the exercise of authority within proper bounds, in failing to define the limits of my authority; his want of appreciation, at the present time, of the unselfish spirit in which I have sustained his legitimate authority for the benefit of the country; his apparent unwillingness to be convinced, even when he utterly failed to sustain anything against me, that I am discharging my duty; indeed, his assumption of fact that the reverse is true, and his peremptory order that I should "desist" from what I had not the slightest purpose of doing-these and many other indications show clearly to my mind that the feelings of the commanding general are so thoroughly prejudiced that it is impossible for him to judge dispassionately of me or of my command. And I believe that, as long as I am part of this army, the angry interest with which he will watch me will needlessly distract his attention from the hostile army which opposes him. the anomalous position in which this exhibition of his feelings places me is such that I confess the difficulty of properly discharging my duty to the public, though I am resolved to do it as far as the commanding general will permit me.
Believing the conduct and feelings of the commanding general to be as I have described them, I cannot but regard my usefulness with this army as seriously impaired, if not destroyed.
The object of this communication then is:
First. To justify myself against the charges, or insinuated charges, of assuming authority which the commanding general has been pleased to make with reference to my official actions since I have been with this army.
Second. To show that any improper exercise of authority has been on the part of the commanding general and not on mine.
Third. To procure orders which will relieve me from duty with this army, and, with this view, I propose, as soon as copies of the correspondence can be made out, to transmit it to the War Department as the basis of my application.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. B. BUCKNER,
[Sub-inclosure Numbers 6.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE, Missionary Ridge, November 1, 1863.
Major General S. B. BUCKNER:
GENERAL: I was so much surprised and pained at the language and tone of your recent correspondence with my headquarters that