for makes me responsible for the "increase of our mortality list fully 50 per cent. ; " but, apart from it, there is another essential fact which goes to the root of this whole matter, which makes General Grant responsible not only for the alleged increase of our mortality list, but for our whole loss, and which truth and justice require should be laid bare. I allude to General Grant's order of May 21 for the assault. That order was issued by him with knowledge of the diminished numbers and exhausted condition of our forces, with knowledge of the roughness of the ground over which they had to pass, and with at least partial knowledge of the great strength of the enemy's position and works, and was deemed not only by me, but by all my general officers who spoke to me upon the subject, as unfortunate and likely to bring disaster upon us rather than the enemy. My answer to these officers was that it was an order, and, if possible, must be executed. They answered, "If we fail it shall not be our fault," and their partial success while others failed, and the carnage of hundreds of their number who fell killed or wounded in gaining that success, conclusively testify that their final failure was not their fault; indeed, General Grant himself testifies to it, as I have already shown, by his admission in another part of his report that "the assault was gallant in the extreme * * * but the enemy's position was too strong, both naturally and artificially, to be taken in that way"-by assault.
Comparing General Grant's report with his dispatches, another discrepancy will appear. He says in his report that the asked for "diversion was promptly and vigorously made * * * without advancing our position or giving us other advantages," leaving it to be inferred that unmitigated evil was the consequence of the diversion; yet in one of his dispatches he says that "Sherman has gained some successes," and in another, dated 2,30 [two hours and a half after my dispatch stating that I had part possession of two forts], he says, "Sherman is getting on well," proving that the diversion was justifying itself and inspiring him with hope of success.
General Grant speaks of Sherman ordering "a renewal of the assault on his front," and of a "diversion" in my favor both by Sherman and McPherson, leaving the inference that there had been a cessation of the assault by both of them. This cessation was either by General Grant's order or with his consent, or without both; and this brings me to a most grave and important point. If it was by General Grant's order or with his consent, he failed to notify me of the fact, leaving me under the operation of his original order, discriminating against my corps and dooming it to stand in the breach and press the assault alone and unsupported, and, as a forlorn hope, to be destroyed in a desperate effort to accomplish an object that he had abandoned; and, if so, does not the blood of the hundreds of brave men who were thus sacrificed cry aloud against him? If it was without either his order or consent, it was a case of deplorable disobedience, and the same responsibility attaches to him for not advising me of it.
General Grant's account of the battle of Champion's Hill also does me and portions of my command injustice. Emphasizing what himself and others did, and assuming that the field of action was limited by the operations of McPherson's corps and of Hovey's DIVISION, of my corps, he indirectly arraigns me for want of zeal, promptitude, and enerwas at Clinton on May 15, and Sherman at Jackson, and that the latter, responsively to his order, promptly moved forward toward Bolton on the morning of the battle; that he [General Grant] ordered McPherson forward at 5. 45 a. m., and sent Lieutenant-Colonel