REPLY TO GENERAL JOHNSTON--EFFECTIVE STRENGTH AND LOSSES, ARMY OF TENNESSEE--DALTON TO ATLANTA.
I VERY much regret I should find it incumbent upon me to. discuss, at this hour, certain operations in the West; but most unjust strictures, passed upon me by General Johnston, and which are derogatory to my character, alike as a man and a soldier, compel me to speak in self-defence, or otherwise admit by silence the charges brought forth.
Although I feel by reason of injustice done me in the past that I have good cause to demand of our people the privilege of a hearing upon certain matters little understood by them. I would, nevertheless, have left the work of vindication to the unbiassed historian of the future, had not my words and actions been so strangely misrepresented.
Before and just after the close of the war, our people, in the despair of defeat, were in no state of mind to listen to truth which ran counter to their prejudices. Blind passion, however, has now subsided, and reason, it is hoped, has returned. I therefore solicit a hearing upon the subject of some of the most important historical events recounted by General Johnston, and in which I was a prominent actor.