general's ideas of his duty to himself. The temptation to shield himself and throw the responsibility of failure on some one else was one he had never accustomed himself to resist, and therefore a plea of a want of re-enforcements, a lack of ammunition, and the necessity for desperate bayonet charges. How far he has been successful in this the testimony of the officers alluded to will show.
Of General Pillow's personal bearing on the field I have spoken in my official report of the battle in such terms as the information brought me at the time warranted. I am not concerned to reopen the question as to the justness of the opinion then expressed. Of the disaster itself I said no more than I thought necessary, willing for the sake of the cause, especially as we had triumphed, to throw a vail over all errors committed; yet nothing is better known than that General Pillow was badly beaten on that occasion, and that he was rescued from annihilation by the cross-fire of the fixed and field batteries and by the timely aid of Colonel Marks, and General Cheatham.
He says I sent for him after his resignation and asked the reason. This is true, and the account of that interview is as correct as he is capable of giving, where his interests tempt him to pervert a conversation. His statement as to my saying he was right in his views as to the staff, the asking his forgiveness for errors committed and wrongs done him, is simply another evidence of his bluntness of perception in one direction and sharpness of vision in another.
He concludes by saying that he is informed-
That the army, deeply distressed at my departure, were engaged in addressing a respectful petition to the President, expressive of their confidence in me, and requesting him to order me back, when General Polk issued an order intended to suppress this respectful appeal to the President, thus stifling the honest convictions of the army and the sympathy so naturally arising from his injustice to me.
In reply to this piece of art I have to say I had good reason to believe the whole thing was an affair of his own contrivance to foster insubordination of his advantage, and, being in direct violation of Numbers 26, Army Regulations, I suppressed it.
In conclusion, he remarks that he had "enjoyed an intimate friendship with General Polk for twenty-five years," &c. If any intercourse which as the fruit of what he regarded as an "intimate friendship" during that period has been profitable or gratifying to him, I am glad of it. I am compelled to say, however, that while I must confess to an acquaintance for that length of time, so far from its inducing me to admit him to relations which might be dignified by friendship, I have every year found increasing reasons for caution in exposing myself to an unguarded intercourse, and my army experience has not diminished my sense of the importance of such vigilance.
I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
Numbers 15. Reports of Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow, C. S. Army, commanding First Division.*
COLUMBUS, November 9, 1861.
The general is aware that my movement was suspended by a battle on the 7th instant. It was hard fought and long contested. We sus-
*See also p. 313.