War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0986 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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your forces to the Mississippi River, and command in person operations for the relief of the besieger city.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

HDQRS. DIVISION IN THE FIELD, July 2, 1863. A. P. MASON,

Major and Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:

MAJOR: The communication of Major-General Loring on the subject of my march was received. I am sorry that any mismanagement of mine the general was subjected to any inconvenience. Had he intimated the fact to me, I would have taken great pleasure in marching agreeably to his wishes, but as he has thought proper to make an official report to the commanding general, I will briefly answer it. His suggestion for the commanding general to regulate the trains might easily have been avoided by his regulating his march in reference to the DIVISION in advance of him. The general camped on Bogue Chitto and I on Bogue Phaliah. My command, including train, when stretched out on the road, would have occupied one-half the space between the two streams. I do not presume to find fault with the hour the general thinks proper to commence his march, but as he has thought proper to make an official complaint, I beg leave most respectfully to state that I think all the general's difficulties would have been avoided had he, knowing I was in advance with a large train-Major [W. C.] Preston's reserve artillery was also in my train-and knowing that both of us had to march to designated points 9 miles, my DIVISION train and column taking up at least one-THIRD of the distance; had he waited until I had gotten out of his way, my column could hardly have been well under way before his infantry would have come in contact with the wagon train starting at the same hour I did. As to the statement of a brigadier-general in his command, that he could not find any of the quartermasters, I can only state that I have positive assurance of my DIVISION quartermaster, Major [N. O.] Tilton, that he was with the wagons, and that the brigade quartermaster were with the train. The general was unfortunate in his search, and from the statement of my DIVISION quartermaster, I may be permitted to express the opinion that the was just as liable to be mistaken as the DIVISION quartermaster, and I trust the next time he comes into my DIVISION to hunt up quartermaster, he will be sure of his report before he accuses officers of not being in their places, in positive disobedience of orders from me, which were for brigade quartermaster to be with the train. The delay, as I lean, was caused by come of the batteries being halted for the purpose of watering their horses. I was at the head of the column, and had the general sent to me, whatever difficulty there was in rear would have been corrected, and this correspondence unnecessary.

Very respectfully,

W. H. T. WALKER.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS, Caney Creek, July 3, 1863.

Respectfully refereed to General Loring.

By command of General Johnston:

A. P. MASON,

Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.