War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0647 Chapter XLII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

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As there was a division between General Reynolds and mine, it was absolutely physically impossible for me to obey the order by any other movement than the one I made. How was I to close up on General Reynolds and support him (as my division was then situated in reference to General Reynolds' division) but by withdrawing from the line and passing in rear of General Brannan's division? I maintain that I have clearly established-

First. That I did not overlook the direction to close up on General Reynolds, but moved to do so as promptly as possible after I had received the order to do it.

Second. That I was ordered to support General Reynolds, and that the movement was not made on any supposition of mine of the existence of a necessity therefor.

Third. That I moved to close up on General Reynolds to support him in the only way it was possible to do so; namely, by withdrawing my division from the line and passing to the rear of General Brannan.

Fourth. That however unfortunate the mistake was that opened a gap in the line, the responsibility for the gap rests on General Rosecrans, who gave the order which produced it, and not on the subordinate who executed it.

I respectfully request that this communication be put on file in the War Department, in conjunction with General Rosecrans' report, and that in case the Department should have the report published, this communication be published with it. I respectfully submit that this courses is due to myself, due to this army, due to the country, and to the truth of history.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

TH. J. WOOD,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

LOUISVILLE, KY., February 6, 1864.

Brig. General LORENZO THOMAS,

Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:

SIR: I am informed that General Rosecrans has, under date of the 12th [13th] January, filed an answer to my comments of the 23rd [21st] October last on his official report of the battle of the Chickamauga. I am further informed that this communication of General Rosecrans does me great injustice. I have the honor, therefore, most respectfully to request to be furnished with a copy of it. As I will leave here in the morning to rejoin my command in the front, I ask you will address your answer to me as commanding Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

TH. J. WOOD,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

P. S.-An early favor is respectfully requested.

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*See Rosecrans to L. Thomas, pp.101,102; Rosecrans to Townsend, p.104, and Townsend to Rosecrans,p.105.

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