Pittsburg Landing. I have also heard that you yourself entertain them For very obvious purposes, therefore, I respectfully submit to you the following explanation of that affair:
On Sunday morning (April 6, 1862) my division, consisting of eleven regiments of infantry, one battalion of cavalry, and two batteries, was posted on the road from Crupp's Landing to Purdy; the First Brigade at the Landing; the Second Brigade 2 1/2 miles out, and the Third Brigade Adamsville 5 miles.
Very early that morning I became satisfied that a battle was in progress at Pittsburg landing, and at once prepared my command for moving instantly upon receipt of an order from General Grant, and as the general was then at Savannah, 4 miles below, my expectation was that he would give me marching orders as he passed up the river to the scene of action. Accordingly my Second and Third Brigades sent their baggage to Crump's Landing, where it could be guarded by a single detachment. The First and Third Brigades joined the Second at its encampment.
About 9 o'clock General Grant passed up the river. Instead of an order to march, he merely left me a direction to hold myself in readiness for orders.
At exactly 11.30 a. m. a quartermaster by the name of Baxter brought me an order in writing unsigned by anybody. It directed me to leave a detachment to guard the public property at Crump's Landing, then march my division and form junction with the right of the army; after junction I was to form line of battle at a right angle with the river. This order, Captain Baxter told me, was from General Grant; that it had been given him verbally, but than in coming down the river he had reduced it to writing, leaving it unsigned. As I had resolved to march toward the cannonading at 12 o'clock without orders, if by that time none came, and as I had so informed Colonel (now General) John M. Thayer, commanding my Second Brigade, I made no point upon the informality of the order brought by Baxter, but was glad to receive it in any shape.
Half an hour was given the men to eat dinner. Then I started the column at exactly 12 o'clock to execute General Grant's order. After leaving two regiments and one gun at Crump's Landing the column consisted of nine regiments of infantry and the cavalry and artillery stated; and as the regiments averaged 500 effective, the whole command did not exceed 5,000 men of all arms.
The route was well known to my cavalry, since, in anticipation of a necessity for my rating upon the main army, it had, by my order, corduroyed the road to the very point of junction.
Why, then, did O not make the junction sooner? There are two reasons why:
1st. Because of the lateness of the hour I received the order to march-11.30 a. m.
2nd. Arrived with my column within a short distance of the point of junction, I was overtaken by an aide of General Grant's, sent by him to tell me that our army had been beaten back from the position it held in the morning, and was then fighting a desperate and losing battle close about Pittsburg Landing. General Grant sent no additional order, and that brought me by Baxter made no provision for such a contingency. I was therefore left to my own judgment. Certainly General Grant did not intend I should continue my march and unsupported form line of battle on the ground his whole army had been beaten from; certainly he did not intend that with 5,000 men I should thrust myself into a position where, without possibility of help from the main