War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0256 KY.,TENN.,N.MISS.,N.ALA.,AND SW.VA. Chapter XXII.

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from it. Twenty Mile Creek passes 3 miles south of Blackland, and the enemy is represented to extend from opposite Blackland to Baldwyn, a distance of 7 miles. The creek must be bridged and roads cut through the swamps before troops can cross in force. Should you desire to attack, Sherman should march on Blackland by Kossuth and Buell the same place by Rienzi. The bulk of the enemy's force is opposite Blackland. I will send you a sketch of the ground. Everything has been sent off south from Baldwyn. The return trains brought provisions. The enemy will stand until you concentrate opposite him and then retreat again. He can do so more easily than before, having nothing to carry.

The roads are very bad to our rear; many creeks and bad swamps-worse than anything we have had before. Unless you are prepared to follow to Okolona, I would not advise any movement of troops in this direction at present. The enemy will only wait long enough for you to do it and then retire, leaving us without the means to follow.

I am pushing at once very strong reconnaissance to Blackland and to Baldwyn. Buell had best be halted at once, unless you decide to advance. I sent you the reports from the front just as I received them. Regret very much that I was unwell and did not [as is my custom] accompany the advance. I have succeeded in getting up three days' rations, and am therefore ready for the course you wish to pursue.




Major-General JOHN A. McCLERNAND,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Your official protest of he 1st is duly received. The organization of this army for the particular operations against Corinth was made by authority of the President and on the advise of my superiors.

You are entirely mistaken in supposing that you were placed by that organization in a subordinate position or in any way made subject to the orders of your inferiors. The reserve in such an operation is not a less important command than any other, for its chance to be engaged, by re-enforcing the right, left, or center, in case of a battle, is usually three to one. When the army was organized for this advance it was intended to put four divisions on the reserve under your command, but the great length of our front and the expanse of the flanks rendered it necessary to change from that plan, leaving you with a smaller command than was then contemplated. In the exigencies of service in the field it frequently becomes necessary to take from one command to add to another, without regard to the seniority of the particular commanding officers; but I have never understood that by doing so there was any implied disrespect to or want of confidence in the officer whose command was so reduced. The command actually given to you, although much less than at first ordered, was double that which you had on my arrival, and it will hereafter be added to or diminished as the circumstances of the service may seem to me to require. But in doing this I am not, and have never been, actuated by any want of respect for or confidence in you. As an illustration that the changes and particular organizations complained of must be made without regard to the