HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
February 25, 1864.
Comdg. Twelfth Corps, Tullahoma, Tenn.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 30th December last* was received at these headquarters during my temporary absence from the army, which, owing to sickness, was prolonged till recently. This will be excuse for the delay in acknowledging it. I very much regret that any injustice should have been done in my official report of the battle of Gettysburg to any part of the Twelfth Corps or any officer in it. I do assure you most sincerely that nothing was further from my intentions, and that what has occurred was the result of accident and not of design, the occurrence of which I will endeavor to explain. To do this, I will take up each of your points seriatim: 1. Crediting Lockwood's brigade to the First Corps. This I acknowledge a palpable error, which I am utterly unable to account for, unless it is that Major-General Newton, in his report of the operation of the First Corps, makes marked mention of the arrival and services of Lockwood's brigade- and this being in my mind at the time of writing, induced the error. 2. The omission to mention the services of Greene's brigade on the afternoon of the 2nd July. I am not prepared to admit this as an error. My report, as is fully stated at the close, only pretends to be a general statement of the battle. It was impossible for me to recapitulate and do justice to each brigade and division in detail, and hence I refer to the subreports. I am willing to admit that, if my attention had been called to the services of Green's brigade in the pointed manner it now is, I would have given it credit for this special service. I wrote my report very hurriedly, having been delayed by the failure of corps commanders to send in their reports. The great number of these subreports rendered it out of the question for me to read and study all of them. I therefore confined myself exclusively to the reports of corps commanders, and I think in this I was misled by considering you the commander of the Twelfth Corps, not knowing that you had considered yourself by my orders relieved from that command and that General Williams commanded it throughout the battle. This brings me to- 3. The omission to mention General Williams as corps commander. This I very much regret, particularly on account of the good opinion I have always entertained for that officer, and the personal regard from long acquaintance which rendered him the last man in the army I would intentionally wrong. But, to tell you the truth, I was not aware, or at least it did not occur to me at the time of writing my report, that he was in command, and this arose possibly from the fact that I did not expect or design him to be so. I remember perfectly well that the Fifth Corps, early on the morning of the 2d, was placed under your command. I also remember that before the Sixth Corps had actually arrived, I proposed on its arrival to make an attack with your corps, the Fifth, and Sixth; but inasmuch as both these corps were removed to another part of the field early in the afternoon, and never returned, I presumed you would understand your command over them was only temporary, and ceased with their removal. I remember perfectly well General Williams being present
*See p. 763.
49 R R-VOL XXVII, PT I