The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 31, In Three Parts. Part 3, Correspondence, etc. Page: 831
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CHAP. XLIII.] CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE. 831
the enemy as General Johnston seems to be, and had ordered the
seizure of wagons, teams, and goods in the same manner, but he was
compelled to change his orders by orders from the War Department.
The instructions from the Department were prepared by Mr. James
A. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War, and will be found to be
very explicit in his letter to General Pemberton on the subject of
goods bought from the enemy. The instructions contained in this
letter were regarded by all as being equivalent to opening the trade,
because it ordered all goods turned over to the civil authorities, and
the civil authorities immediately turned them loose. I was very
anxious to have explained these matters in person to General John-
ston, because I could have done so verbally better than I can write
it. I was forced to believe from complimentary letters that at one
time I possessed his confidence as an officer, but I have been made re-
cently to feel very keenly that I do not. The desertion of my men
when they fell back on Grenada and it was taken gave me the first
blow on his good opinion, but if he will remember how General
Bragg's Tennesseeans have always left him when he fell back from
Tennessee, how General Price's army melted away on his retreat
from Little Rock, and how his own army deserted when he fell back
from Jackson. he could hardly censure me as an officer because my
men should desert under similar circumstances. Vicksburg had
fallen and my men believed they were falling back to Alabama.
I have received more reprimands lately from General Johnston
than in all my military career previously, which I think were evi-
dences of great dissatisfaction, and I feel that I am not fully trusted,
because I am the senior brigadier in the cavalry of Mississippi, and
am kept in command of a brigade, while my junior commands a
I have heard that this dissatisfaction with me has been brought
about in part by the reports of citizens ; this is a very uncertain
standard by which to try military men, and but few would bear the
test, but if the commanding general puts any confidence in the many
vile slanders that I know have been circulated against me, I simply
ask that he give me the benefit of an investigation. I feel a con-
sciousness of having discharged my duty. I believe I have made good
soldiers of roving bands that were more hurtful to friends than foes,
and I have the proud satisfaction of knowing that my command on
the last raid compared very favorably with the two best brigades in
the cavalry in Mississippi, and that the very citizens who have here-
tofore censured my command are now quite laudatory of them in
comparison with others.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. R. CHALMERS,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS CHALMERS' CAVALRY,
No. 185. Oxford, December 14, 1863.
I. Captain Vankirk, assistant quartermaster, having reported at
these headquarters in obedience to orders from Maj. A. M. Barbour,
chief quartermaster, will report to Colonel McCulloch, commanding
brigade cavalry, for duty as brigade quartermaster.
By order of Brigadier-General Chalmers:
W. A. GOODMAN,
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United States. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 31, In Three Parts. Part 3, Correspondence, etc., book, 1891; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth152608/m1/840/?q=Calvert: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.