absence of a portion of the Twelfth Corps sent over to the assistance of our left center after the defeat of the Third Corps, had obtained a footing in a portion of our line on the right, and that to the right of Cemetery Hill he had driven a portion of the Eleventh Corps out of the line, taken possession of some of our batteries there, and had been himself driven out by the timely arrival of Carroll's brigade, sent by me, according to General Hancock's direction, over to the right, "to the sound of the firing. " Otherwise our line remained intact. 3. One of the corps commanders, Newton, urged some objections against the military position of our line, and when the council came to decide upon a number of points which were written out by General Butterfield, chief of staff, and submitted to its vote, one of the questions was to this effect: "Should the army remain in its present position, or retire to a better one?" Being the youngest member of the council, I was required to vote first, and on this particular point I voted -having General Newton's objection in my mind, and having confidence in his judgment as a military engineer -that we should as far as possible correct our position, but on no account to change it so much that any one could construe it into a retreat. My recollection is that General Newton voted substantially the same way, and that every other member voted simply to remain and offer battle. So that the decision of the council to remain in position was unanimous. 4. I never heard General Meade say one word in favor of a retreat, nor do I believe that he did so, being confident I should have heard it, the council meeting in a room not to exceed 10 feet square. I recollect there was great good feeling amongst the corps commanders at their agreeing so unanimously, and General Meade's announcement, in a decided manner, "Such, then, is the decision. " There were a number of other questions of minor importance put and decided which I do not deem it necessary to refer to. It may not be out of place here to state that during a portion of the sitting of the council, which continued up to nearly 12 o'clock, fighting was going on the right of our line, where the portion of the Twelfth Corps, returning to its position from the left center, was attempting to dislodge the enemy from the footing he had gained in our line.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
MARCH 15, 1864.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
I inclose herewith a slip from the New York Herald of the 12th instant, containing a communication signed "Historicus, " purporting to give an account of the battle of Gettysburg, to which I desire to call the attention of the War Department, and ask such action thereon as may be deemed proper and suitable. For the past fortnight the public press of the whole country has been teeming with articles, all having for their object assaults upon my reputation as an officer, and tending to throw discredit upon my operations at Gettysburg and my official report of the same. I have not noticed any of these attacks, and should not now take action, but that the character of the communication inclosed bears