Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            OCTOBER 8TH.—The President, accompanied by two of his aids, set off quietly day before yesterday for the Southwest—to Bragg’s army, no doubt, where it is understood dissensions have arisen among the chieftains.

            By telegraph we learn that one of Bragg’s batteries, on LookoutMountain, opened fire on the Federals in Chattanooga on the 5th inst., which was replied to briskly.

            Night before last an attempt was made to destroy the enemy’s steamer Ironsides at Charleston, but failed. The torpedo, however, may have done it some injury.

            From Lee and Meade we have nothing.

            A rather startling letter was read by the Secretary of War to-day from _____, Lieut. -Gen. Bragg’s _______d in command. It was dated the 26th of September, and stated that Chickamauga was one of the most complete victories of the war, but has not been “followed up.” On the 21st (day after the battle), Gen. Bragg asked Gen. ______’s advice, which was promptly given: “that he should immediately strike Burnside a blow; or if Burnside escaped, then to march on Rosecrans’s communications in the rear of Nashville.” Gen. Bragg seemed to adopt the plan, and gave orders accordingly. But the right wing had not marched more than eight or ten miles the next day, before it was halted, and ordered to march toward Chattanooga, after giving the enemy two and a half days to strengthen the fortifications. Bragg’s army remains in front of the enemy’s defenses, with orders not to assault him. The only thing Bragg has done well (says Gen. ______) was to order the attack on the 19th of September; everything else has been wrong; and now only God can save us or help us—while Bragg commands. He begs that Gen. Lee be sent there, while the Army of Virginia remains on the defensive, to prosecute offensive measures against Rosecrans. He says Bragg’s army has neither organization nor mobility; and B. cannot remedy the evil. He cannot adopt or adhere to any course, and he invokes the government to interpose speedily. This letter is on file in the archives.

            The question now is, who is right? If it be ______, Bragg ought certainly to be relieved without delay ; and the President cannot arrive in the field a moment too soon. As it is, while others are exulting in the conviction that Rosecrans will be speedily destroyed, I am filled with alarm for the fate of Bragg’s army, and for the cause! I am reluctant to attribute the weakness of personal pique or professional jealousy to ______; yet I still hope that events will speedily prove that Bragg’s plan was the best, and that he had really adopted and advised to the wisest course.

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