Halleck has intended as to any dissatisfaction of mine with you. I am sure you, as a reasonable man, would not have been wounded could you have heard all my words and seen all my thoughts in regard to you. I have not abated in my kind feeling for and confidence in you. I have seen most of your dispatches to General Halleck-probably all of them. After Grant invested Vicksburg I was very anxious lest Johnston should overwhelm him from the outside; and when it appeared certain that part of Bragg's force had gone and was going to Johnston, it did seem to me it was exactly the proper time for you to attack Bragg with what force he had left. In all kindness let me say it so seems to me yet. Finding from your dispatches to General Halleck that your judgment was different, and being very anxious for Grant, I, on one occasion, told General Halleck I thought he should direct you to decide at once to immediately attack Bragg or to stand on the defensive and send part of your force to Grant. He replied he had already so directed in substance. Soon after, dispatches from Grant abated my anxiety for him and in proportion abated my anxiety about any movement of yours. When afterward, however, I saw a dispatch of your arguing that the right time for you to attack Bragg was not before, but would be after, the fall of Vicksburg, it impressed me very strangely; and I think I so stated to the Secretary of War and General Halleck. It seemed no other than the proposition that you could better fight Bragg when Johnston should be at liberty to return and assist him than you could before he could so return to his assistance.
Since Grant has been entirely relieved by the fall of Vicksburg, by which Johnston is also relieved, it has seemed to me that your chance for a stroke has been considerably diminished, and I have not been pressing you directly or indirectly. True, I am very anxious for East Tennessee to be occupied by us, but I see and appreciate the difficulties you mention. The question occurs, Can the thing be done at all? Does preparations advance at all? Do you not consume supplies as fast as you get them forward? Have you more animals to-day than you had at the battle of Stone's River? And yet, have not more been furnished you since then than your entire present stock? I ask the same questions as to your mounted force.
Do not misunderstand. I am not casting blame upon you. I rather think by great exertion you can get to East Tennessee; but a very important question is, Can you stay there? I make no order in the case; that I leave to General Halleck and yourself.
And now by assured once more that I think of you in all kindness and confidence, and that I am not watching you with an evil eye.
Yours, very truly,
U. S. MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON, FLAG-SHIP BLACK HAWK,
August 10, 1863.
Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding Department of the Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio:
GENERAL: I received two communications, one from yourself and one from Brigadier-General Cox, speaking in favorable terms of the conduct of Lieutenant Commander LeRoy Fitch in co-operating with you. I am pleased, sir, that those under my command should be of service to the Army, and I am sure that they will never fail to be so from want