as the senior officer, was entitled to it, but remembering that General Withers' division was not at Perryville (the only general battle fought by this army since Shiloh), I thought it due to him that he should have it, and to satisfy all parties I thought proper to assign the reason for that arrangement.
It will be remembered that Walthall's brigade was only recently transferred to Withers' division. It belonged to Hardee's corps at Perryville, and in thinking of Withers' division in its past history and action, it did not occur to me that there had been any changes in its composition, or that any troops that were at Perryville now belonged to it. The same is true in regard to the gallant brigade of General Chalmers, now commanded by General Anderson. I, of course, know of the distinguished intrepidity with which it assailed the works at Munfordville, and the heavy losses it sustained, but as I was thinking of the brigades as part of a division of which I was speaking, and not as separate brigades, it did not occur to me to make it an exception.
General Anderson does me no more than justice in saying that he regards me as incapable of doing injustice, even by implication, to any one, and, I will add, especially to troops the whole history of whose connection with me has won my highest admiration, and around whose brow I would rather weave garlands of well-earned fame than to be the occasion, even by inadvertence, of the loss of a single leaf from the chaplets with which they deserve to be crowned.
NEAR SHELBYVILLE, June 16, 1863.
Major THOMAS M. JACK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Polk's Corps:
MAJOR: In his recently published official report of the battle of Murfreesborough, Lieutenant-General Polk, referring to the part taken in the action by the Fourth Brigade of Withers' division, uses this language:
The brigade of Colonel Manigault, which was immediately on the right of that of Colonel Coltart, followed the movement of the latter according to instructions; but as Coltart failed in the first onset to drive Sheridan's right, Manigault, after dashing forward and pressing the enemy's line in his front back upon his second line, was brought under a very heavy fire of artillery from two batteries on his right, supported by a very heavy infantry force. He was, therefore, compelled to fall back.
In this charge the brigade suffered severely, sustaining a very heavy loss in officers and men, but the gallant South Carolinians returned to the charge a second and a third time.
We respectfully suggest that this language is susceptible of a construction which may cause the reader to award to a part of the brigade honors which, to say the least, are merited as well by another part of it. Such was not the intention of the writer. A soldier himself, he would not willingly withhold from a soldier that which is most highly prized by him-credit for gallantry on the battle-field. We, then, do justice alike to Lieutenant-General Polk and to our own respective commands by directing attention to the inaccuracy in the above recited extract.
The brigade of Colonel Manigault is not composed entirely of South Carolinians, as would be reasonably inferred from the report. In it are five regiments, two from South Carolina (Tenth and Nineteenth) and three from Alabama (Twenty-fourth, Twenty-eighth, and Thirty-fourth), and Waters' (Alabama) battery.