Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/12
Southern Historical Society Papers.
the service, and feeling that a portion of his troops were dissatisfied with and disposed to criticise his military operations, to allay all apprehensions, patriotically requested the President to relieve him from the command of that army whose fortunes he had followed and whose fate he had shared through the trying vicissitudes of more than two years of active operations. His request was granted and Lieutenant-General Hardee temporarily placed in command, in a short time to be replaced by General Joseph E. Johnston. But the President, knowing General Bragg's abilities and appreciating them, was not disposed so summarily to dispense with his services, and hence immediately called him to Richmond in the capacity of military adviser. Thus ended the connection of General Bragg with the Army OF the West, or, as then more properly termed, the "Army of Northern Georgia."
TO THE ARMY.
He never, subsequent to that time, made but one visit to his old and to him cherished command, and then to find it sadly changed—a visit pregnant with the issues of its life or death and involving the very existence of the Confederacy. It was at or about the time of the removal of General Johnston from, and the substitution of the "bravest
pass at every hazard. The message was delivered at Cleburn's camp fire. He heard it with surprise and expressed his apprehension that it would result in the loss of his command, as his information differed from mine, and he believed the enemy would turn his position and cut him off. 'But', said he, true soldier as he was, 'I always obey orders, and only ask as a protection, in case of disaster, that you put the order in writing.' This was done as soon as materials could be found, and the staff officer returned and reported the result of his mission. He had not reached me, however, before the attack, in front, as I expected, was made. Cleburn gallantly met it, defeated the enemy under Hooker, drove him back, and then quietly followed the army without further molestation. Mark the difference in conduct and results. A good soldier, by obedience, without substituting his own crude notions, defeats the enemy and saves an army from disaster. And mark the credit he gets for it. The Confederate Congress passed a vote of thanks to the gallant Cleburn and his command for saving Bragg's army. Not to this day has it ever been known that he did it in obedience to orders and against his judgment, which does not detract from, but adds to his fame. Captain Samuel A. Harris, Assistant Adjutant-General, of Montgomery, Alabama, was the officer who delivered the order. He is now an Episcopal clergyman, with the largest congregation in New Orleans, and has recently repeated the whole matter to me as distinctly as if it had occurred yesterday."