War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0184 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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[James H.] Wilson, of his staff, "with verbal instructions to" me "as to the disposition of my forces," and followed himself at an early hour from Clinton; that he found "Hovey's DIVISION disposed for the attack," but would "not permit it to be commenced until he could hear from" me, "who was advancing with four DIVISIONS; " that "Logan rode up" and told him that if "Howley could make another dash at the enemy, he could come up from where he then was and capture the greater part of their force," and that, after all this, he saw me with Carr's DIVISION to his left, and that "Osterhaus' DIVISION soon afterward appeared, with his skirmishers well in advance. "

General Grant says all this, but he accidentally or otherwise omits to state what is essential to a proper understanding of the incidents and agencies of that battle. He omits to state that while he was yet behind at Clinton, I selected the lines of advance of the Thirteenth Army Corps, including Blair's DIVISION, and moved all the forces forward to the attack except McPherson's; that revoking an order changing my disposition of Blair's forces, he afterward sent a dispatch to me, saying, "Your disposition of Blair's forces is satisfactory; place him to the best advantage," &c. ; that on the day before the battle I urged him in a dispatch to move McPherson's corps upon the right of Hovey, to cut off the enemy if I should beat him; that on the morning of the battle, after putting my columns in motion, I hastened to General McPherson's headquarters, in my rear, before he had risen, and urged him to do the same for the same purpose, and to support Hovey; that the subsequent execution of this movement secured to us many prisoners and a number of cannon.

He omits to state that the enemy's skirmishers and artillery were first encountered on my left by General Smith's DIVISION, supported by General Blair's; next by General Osterhaus' DIVISION, supported by General by General Hovey, forming my right, and that I informed him that I had received a dispatch from the latter, dated 9,30 a. m., notifying me that he had found the enemy strongly posted, and believed that his right flank would encounter severe resistance; and that I asked him whether McPherson should not support Hovey, and whether I should bring on a general engagement; that afterward, sending several dispatches, he failed to answer any more directly than by the following dispatch, dated 12. 35 p. m.: "As soon as your command is all in hand, throw forward skirmishers and feel the enemy, and attack him in force if an opportunity occurs, and I will see that Hovey and McPherson fully co-operate," as though Hovey had not been hotly and desperately engaged since 11 a. m.

He also fails to state that upon the receipt of this dispatch I immediately ordered my center and left to "attack the enemy vigorously and press for victory; " that he allowed Hovey's DIVISION to be forced back twice or thrice with great loss from the ground gained, although, as was credibly reported, there was a brigade or DIVISION of McPherson's corps unengaged and within easy supporting distance. Moreover, that he sent me several dispatches leading me to the belief that the enemy was in greatest force in front of my center and left, and warning me to guard against letting him gain the rear of that part of my line; and that after or about the time the enemy gave way on the right, Garrard's brigade, leading my right center, was so formidably opposed as to need the support of Benton's and Lindsey's, leaving my left center to be supported by Lawler's brigade, forming a reserve.

He omits all these things, and, in fine, to notice the fact an early official dispatch sent by him to Washington giving an account of the battle was so unjust even to Hovey's DIVISION as to cause Hovey to