Thursday, November 21, 2013

October 24, 1863

October 24, 1863

—Mary Boykin Chesnut of South Carolina writes in her journal of her husband’s service on behalf of Pres. Davis to the Army of Tennessee:

    October 24th.—James Chesnut is at home on his way back to Richmond; had been sent by the President to make the rounds of the Western armies; says Polk is a splendid old fellow. They accuse him of having been asleep in his tent at seven o’clock when he was ordered to attack at daylight, but he has too good a conscience to sleep so soundly.
    The battle did not begin until eleven at Chickamauga[1] when Bragg had ordered the advance at daylight. Bragg and his generals do not agree. I think a general worthless whose subalterns quarrel with him. Something is wrong about the man. Good generals are adored by their soldiers. See Napoleon, Caesar, Stonewall, Lee.
    Old Sam (Hood) received his orders to hold a certain bridge against the enemy, and he had already driven the enemy several miles beyond it, when the slow generals were still asleep. Hood has won a victory, though he has only one leg to stand on.
    Mr. Chesnut was with the President when he reviewed our army under the enemy’s guns before Chattanooga. . . .
    Joe Johnston advancing, or retreating, I may say with more truth, is magnetic. He does draw the good-will of those by whom he is surrounded. Being such a good hater, it is a pity he had not elected to hate somebody else than the President of our country. He hates not wisely but too well. . . .

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