ordered by the commanding general, in a written order, to support General Reynolds, leaving it to be inferred that the effort to support General Reynolds was a movement made on my own supposition of necessity.
Third. There is an obvious attempt to produce the impression that General Reynolds might have been "closed up on" by some other movement than by withdrawing from the line.
Fourth. Characterizing the withdrawing from the line to close up on and support General Reynolds as an unfortunate mistake, the plain intention and object of the entire paragraph are to shield General Rosecrans from the responsibility of the unfortunate mistake and its still more unfortunate consequences, and to fix the responsibility on myself.
The following statement of facts, with accompanying copy of order from General Rosecrans, will show conclusively the incorrectness of statement of the extract, as also establish the injustice of its object and intention:
At 10 o'clock and 45 minutes, on Sunday morning, the 20th of September, ultimo, the following was the position of my division in line of battle: The left of my division was closed up on and rested firmly against the right of General Brannan's division, which in turn had its left fully closed up on and resting on the right of General Reynolds' division (General Brannan assures me that his division was in line with General Reynolds' division, with his left closed on and resting firmly on General Reynolds' right); on the right of my division was General Davis' division.
At the time my division was not engaged at all-not a shot was being fired on its front. Half an hour previously there had been some skirmishing, but it had subsided. There was, however, satisfactory reason for believing that the enemy was in considerable force in my front; hence I was keenly on the alert. But while the enemy was quiescent on my front he was not so elsewhere. The roar of artillery and the rattle of musketry borne to us from the left, told unmistakably that our comrades in that direction were heavily engaged with the foe.
A few minutes, perhaps five, before 11 a.m. on the 20th, I received the following order:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Commanding Division, &c.:
The general commanding directs that you close up on Reynolds as fast as possible, and support him.
FRANK S. BOND,
Major, and Aide-de-Camp.
This order was addressed as follow: "10.45 a.m. Gallop. Brigadier-General Wood, commanding division."
At the time it was received there was a division (Brannan's) in line between my division and General Reynolds. I was immediately in rear of the center of my division at the time. I immediately dispatched my staff officers to the brigade commanders, directing them to move by the left, passing in the rear of General Brannan's division, to close up on and support General Reynolds, and as the order was peremptory I directed the movement to be made at the doublequick. The movement was commenced immediately.