HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, Shelbyville, Tenn., April 6, 1863.
In my report of the battles before Murfreesborough there occurs the following passage:
My last reserve having been exhausted, the brigades of Major-General Breckinridge's division, and a small brigade of General J. K. Jackson, posted to guard our right flank, were the only troops left that had not been engaged. Four of these were ordered to report to me. They came in detachments of two brigades each, the first arriving nearly two hours after Donelson's attack, the other about an hour after the first.
I then expressed the opinion that if these brigades could have followed the attack of Chalmers and Donelson in quick succession the result of our operations would have been a complete victory. I have been informed that certain friends of general Breckinridge, who have seen my report, apprehend that the manner in which these statements are made will produce the impression that these brigades were ordered to my support at the time I first desired them, and that they failed to comply with the order, one detachment arriving two hours after it was ordered, and the other an hour later. I desire to say that it was not my intention to produce such an impression. I did not know at what time they were ordered to my support. I perceived that they would be needed, and asked for them before the attack by Chalmers and Donelson was ordered; but whether they would be sent me or not I did not know until just before they reported to me on the field.
With the request that this may accompany and be made a part of my report, I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, Tenn., May 2, 1863.
I transmit this explanatory report of Lieutenant-General Polk. In the language of his original report I see no suggestion that the brigades of Breckinridge did not reach the field of action in due time after being ordered. Had I done so I would have corrected it. They moved as soon as ordered, and I ordered them as soon as I ascertained that the fears of an attack on the right were groundless.
HDQRS. ANDERSON'S BRIG., WITHERS' DIV., POLK'S CORPS, Near Shelbyville, June 10, 1863.
Major THOMAS M. JACK,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Polk's Corps, Army of Tennessee:
MAJOR: I have to-day, for the first time, seen the official report of the battle of Murfreesborough, by the lieutenant-general commanding the corps. As I know of no one who would be further from doing the slightest injustice, even by implication, than General Polk, I would respectfully call his attention, through you, to a paragraph in that report