Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 2.djvu/211

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Crisis in the Confederate Army.—1863

WHILE the removal of the generals and the reorganization absorbed the attention of headquarters and camps on our side, a similar crisis was occurring in the Confederate army. Indications of it had reached us through Southern newspapers. These came into our lines almost as quickly as into the enemy's, thanks to the truce arrived at between the respective pickets, without authority, but winked at by their superiors, and which led to friendly talk and exchange of courtesies. One contained a general order of Lieutenant-General Polk, in which he took leave of his corps, and the announcement of the removal of General Hindman from command. But no one was aware of the extent and violence of the conflict then raging among the rebel generals, nor was it suspected that these internal quarrels had led to a most important event, of which we learned from rebel papers and through the great commotion on Missionary Ridge. It was nothing less than a visit of Jefferson Davis himself to Bragg's troops. The President of the Confederacy arrived on the evening of October the 10th and remained till the 13th. His presence was signalized by artillery salutes and parades and reviews, which could be clearly seen from Cameron Hill. From our picket line the band music and cheers with which the rebel soldiery responded to the speeches he made to them were also distinctly heard. It is only by the publication of the Official War Records that the connection between his visit and the squabbles of the generals has been made apparent. I think it best to give at length this interesting chapter in the history of the Rebellion.