next day, publish General Polk's report of the battle of Murfreesborough, which had been forwarded by its Richmond correspondent, "S. L," the party to whom the corrected copy had been sent, and the report was accordingly published, as inclosed. I have thought it due to myself and to General Polk to make these statements to the Department, in explanation of the appearance of the report.
Since writing the foregoing, I have, in answer to an inquiry, received the following dispatch from the editor of the Register:
I had no express authority of the Government for publishing General Polk's report, but as my correspondent at Richmond had been allowed access to official copies of the other reports, and it expressed no disapproval of their publication, I inferred its consent.
J. A. SPERRY.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. B. RICHMOND,
P. S.-Mr. Minor, in his communication, informs me that no supplementary report of the battle of Murfreesborough had been received at the War Department. Such a report was made and forwarded to your office, and this postscript is added in explanation of its publication with the main report.
The explanation of this publication is little satisfactory. Express authority of the Department should be obtained before the copy of any official paper is intrusted to the agents of the press, who are under a strong temptation to publish as news whatever may be interesting to their readers.
J. A. S.,
Numbers 193. Reports of Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham, C. S. Army, commanding First Division.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of this division in the battles before Murfreesborough, commencing on December 30, 1862, and ending on January 3, 1863:
The division is composed of the following brigades and batteries:
Brigadier General D. S. Donelson's brigade: Sixteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Colonel John H. Savage; Thirty-eighth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Colonel John C. Carter; Fifty-first Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Colonel John Chester; Eighth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Colonel W. L. Moore; Eighty-fourth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Colonel S. S. Stanton; Captain W. W. Carnes' light battery.
Brigadier General A. P. Stewart's brigade: Fourth and Fifth Regiments Tennessee Volunteers, Colonel O. F. Strahl; Twenty-fourth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Colonel E. E. Tansil; Nineteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Colonel F. M. Walker; Captain T. J. Stanford's light battery.
Brigadier General George Maney's brigade: First Regiment Tennessee Vol-