General Order, No. 214.
Upon renewed application to the President, his consent has been obtained for the relinquishment of the command of this army. It is accordingly transferred to Lieutenant-general Hardee. The announcement of this separation is made with unfeigned regret. An association of more than two years, which bind together a commander and his trusted troops, cannot be severed without deep emotion. For a common cause, dangers shared on many hard-fought fields have cemented bonds which time can never impair. The circumstances which render this step proper will be appreciated by every good soldier and true patriot. The last appeal the general has to make to the gallant army which has so long nobly sustained him is to give his successor that cordial and generous support essential to the success of your arms. In that successor you have a veteran whose brilliant reputation you have aided to achieve. To the officers of my general staff, who have so long zealously and successfully struggled against serious difficulties to support the army and myself, is due, in a great degree, what little success and fame we have achieved. Bidding them and the Army an affectionate farewell, they have the blessings and prayers of a grateful friend.
Soldiers of the Army of Tennessee:
Gen. Bragg having been relieved from duty with the army, the command has devolved upon me. The steady courage, the unsullied patriotism of the distinguished leader who has shared your fortunes for more than a year, will long be remembered by this army and the country he served so well.
I desire to say, in assuming command, that this is no cause for discouragement. The overwhelming number of the enemy forced us back from Missionary Ridge, but the army retired intact and in good heart. Our losses are small and will be rapidly repaired. The country is looking upon you. Only the weak need to be cheered by constant success. Veterans of Shiloh, Perryville, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga require no such stimulant to sustain their courage. Let the past take care of itself. We can and must take care of the future.W. J. Hardee.