army-which according to the account was then unable to help itself. I would, in [all] likelihood, be cut to pieces by the enemy's reserves and detachments. T he point of junction to which I was proceeding was at least 2 1/4 miles from Pittsburg Landing. Could I have successfully cut my way through the enemy, fighting superior forces over that space, in what condition would my regiments have been to give the general the assistance he so much required?
In this dilemma I resolved, as the most prudent course, to carry out the spirit of General Grant's order, and join the right of his army as it then rested. That could only be done by carrying my column to the lower or river road from Crump's to Pittsburg Landing, By following which O could cross Snake Creek by a good bridge at the very point of junction. A counter-march was therefore ordered, which, in the absence of any cross-road, was necessarily continued to within half a mile of the camp I had started from. On the diagram, in red ink [dotted lines],my whole march is distinctly traced. A little after sunset I made the required junction.
At no time during that afternoon's march was my column halted longer than to allow it to be closed up; the column was brought in in perfect order and without a straggler; the length of its march in the time (from 12 m. to a little after sunset) was nearly 15 miles; certainly there could have been no idling on the way.
Next morning, on the extreme right in the order of battle, my division had the honor of opening the fight; at the close of the day it was the farthest advanced of any along the line.
For your better understanding of my explanation it is accompanied with a diagram showing the situation of my division on the morning of the first day's battle and its route to the battle-field after the order to march was received.
I submit this as an official explanation, solely to vindicate my conduct from unjust aspersions.
Most respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
Major General H. W. HALLECK.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY, March 14, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to Major-General Grant for his remarks.
By order of Major-General Halleck:
J. C. KELTON,