War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0102 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,ANA N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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me personal injustice, strikes a blow at discipline throughout the entire service.

A communication from Brig. General Thomas J. Wood, one of my subordinate commanders, dated October 23, 1863,* based upon an extract from my official reported, which he had no right to know anything about at that time, has been submitted to the War Department, and been received, publicly commented on by the General-in-Chief, and its publication authorized by the Secretary of War, without passing through me or being submitted to me, according to military custom and usage, for my remarks thereon.

It must be obvious to Your Excellency that if this practice is to be allowed in one case, all other subordinates are entitled to the same privileges concerning the reports of their superior touching them, the admission of which would be destructive to all discipline, as it must also be obvious that, should this act go unrebuked, it will tend to impair the confidence of all officers in the justice of the Government and thereby weaken the military arm of the nation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS,

Major-General.

CINCINNATI, OHIO, January 13, 1864.

GENERAL: The report of the General-in-Chief shows that a letter from one of my division commanders at the battle of Chickamauga, commenting on the report of his commanding general, has been received at the War Department, and subsequently published by its authority. The General-in-Chief refers to that letter as a rival authority to my own and as raising doubt upon the accuracy of a point in my report.

The letter, dated October 23 [21] ultimo, four days after I left the command, is based on a quotation from my official report to which, evidently, the writer was not at that time entitled, and which, there-fore, prima facie, was surreptitiously obtained. It has been received and publicly used as a document disparaging my hands, as required by military courtesy and Army Regulations.

The War Department is therefore respectfully requested, as an act of justice, to cause the above and following observations to be filed and published as an appendix to my official report of the battle of Chickamauga.

Note in reference to General Wood's letter.-Brig. General T. J. Wood writes and sends to the War Department a clandestine letter to show-contrary to the inference drawn in my report-that he did right, under an order to "close up on General Reynolds and support him,"in taking his division out of the line of battle and in rear of Brannan's division to a reserve position in rear of Reynolds.

My report, dealing with facts and avoiding personal censure, shows that General Reynolds sent me word by Captain Kellogg, aide-de-camp to General Thomas, that there were no troops on his immediate right, and that he wanted support there; that supposing Brannan's

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*See p.645

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