Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 18.djvu/176
Southern Historical Society Papers.
the Chattachoochee, warning me not to fight with the river behind us, and against crossing it, and previously he urged me not to allow Sherman to detach to Grant's aid. General Bragg passed some ten hours with me just before I was relieved and gave me the impression that his visit to the army was casual. He being on his way further West to endeavor to get us reinforcements from Kirby, Smith and Lee. I thought him satisfied with the state of things, but not so with that in Virginia. He assured me that he had always maintained in Richmond that Sherman's army was stronger than Grant's. He said nothing of the intention to relieve me, but talked with General Hood on the subject, as I learned after my removal.
It is clear that his expedition had no other purpose than my removal, and the giving proper direction to public opinion on the subject. He could have had no other object in going to Montgomery. A man of honor in his place would have communicated with me as well as Hood on the subject. Being expected to assume the offensive he attacked on the 2Oth, 22d, and 28th of July, disastrously losing more men than I had done in seventy-two days. Since then his defensive has been at least as quiet as mine was; but you must be tired of this.
We are living very quietly and pleasantly here. The Georgians have been very hospitable. We stopped here merely because it was the first stopping-place. Remember us cordially to Mrs. Maury [Nannie Rose Mason-Maury].
Tell her that the gloves arrived most opportunely. Mine have just been lost, and it would have been impossible to buy more, and they are lovely.
Just before I left the army we thought the odds against us had been reduced almost six to four. I have not supposed, therefore, that Sherman could either invest Atlanta or carry it by assault.
- Very truly yours,
J. E. Johnston.
Since the great war between the States we have been often so associated as to impress me with the tender nature which underlay the martial mind and person of our great soldier. As a host, and with his wife he was attentive and tender above all men. She was very humorous and jovial and delighted to have a joke on him, and he enjoyed it from her as heartily as any of us.