be slow to believe that our old commander, who defended Nashville with such signal ability and who acquitted himself with honor in the battle of Stone's River and Dug Gap, came short in the discharge of his high duty and the expectations of the army and country at the battle of Chickamauga.
It would be useless to call attention to the brave men of my command, who fell in the line of their duty, though fighting against hope, but I would be pleased to communicate to the surviving officers and soldiers of my regiment who fought with me on that memorable occasion that their general appreciates their services and conduct of the field.
As before stated I will submit a report at the earliest possible moment, and would be glad to annex to it a copy of your letter and this.
Be assured of my kindest personal regards.
Major Twenty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
P. S.-Address me at Perrysburg, Wood County, Ohio.
[Inclosure Numbers 3.]
HEADQUARTERS, Louisville, Ky., April 18, 1864.
Major A. McMAHAN,
Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers, Campt Chase:
DEAR SIR: Your letter of 12th instant has my attention.
The intelligence of your safe return is highly gratifying. Please accept my grateful appreciation of the sentiments of personal respect and confidence you have so kindly expressed.
You are doubtless aware that Generals Brannan and Wood indulged in severe and unauthorized reflections upon the division and myself. These reflections received my prompt notice, and were investigated before a court of inquiry, which I requested (as you have or will read), with the most satisfactory results.
During the battle on Sunday, and after my First and Second Brigades were detached from my command, General Brannan applied earnestly for a regiment to support his position. The Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers was sent him for the purpose. Shortly afterward the tide of battle, and the assault of a largely superior force from the enemy, separated my command-which then consisted of the remainder of the Third Brigade and some 50 pieces of artillery-from the troops on my left, and compelled the withdrawal of the artillery to McFarland's for safety.
The Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers remained under the immediate command of General Brannan, and, as I have been informed, covered his retreat after dark.
I have received no official report of the operations of the Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers after it was placed under the command of General Brannan; therefore I am ignorant of the facts, and you know best what orders he gave, if any, and now far he is responsible for the circumstances which occasioned the fearful loss of so many heroic men.
I shall take pleasure in reading your statement of the facts.
Yours, very truly,
JAS. S. NEGLEY,