War of the Rebellion: Serial 052 Page 0419 Chapter XLII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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time for Grant to take Mobile. Can't our cavalry cut the Chattanooga and Atlanta railroad, and stop supplies coming on that road. I understand the enemy is accumulating all his supplies at the foot of Missionary for a protracted struggle.

WOOD.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS, September 7, 1863-6 p.m.

General J. A. GARFIELD,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I am just in receipt of a copy of a communication addressed by General Crittenden to your, which I will briefly explain.

In the first place, I will remark that the term "blind adhesion to orders" was not used in any personal or disrespectful sense, but in the enforcement of my suggestion to General Crittenden to move up some of the force immediately with him to my support. The contents of my communication will show that this is the sense in which I used the expression, and had no reference whatever to any specific order, land more especially to the order directing me to make a forced reconnaissance with a part of my force of the enemy's position on the spur of Lookout Mountain. I would respectfully submit that it seems to me a very far-fetched and forced construction of my language to charge that I am opposed to "a blind obedience to orders" on my remark that I could not believe that the commanding general could desire "such a blind adhesion to orders," &c. I respectfully submit that, according to my experience, there is a wide difference in the opinion of military men between the duty of obedience to a specific order and adhesion to the details of a general plan announced in orders, and which admit of latitude and discretion in their execution. It was in this sense that I used the term "a blind adhesion to orders" and none other.

Perhaps if I had used the expression "a blind adhesion to the details of a plan," my meaning would have been better expressed, and I repeat that the context of my communication bears out this interpretation.

General Crittenden thinks I have neglected my duty in delaying to make the reconnaissance ordered. I will remark that it is a most grave charge, that of neglect of duty, and no officer can justly make it against another until he has fully and fairly investigated all the facts and circumstances connected with the duty to be performed. Justice to an associate in arms, more especially when he chances to be a subordinate to the officer making the charge, certainly required this course to be pursued.

Now, I state most unhesitatingly and distinctly that I neglected no duty in carrying out the order to make the reconnaissance was not delayed a moment beyond what was absolutely and indispensably necessary to insure its success and the safety of the troops making it, as also of the troops held in position to protect the reconnoitering party, in case it should meet with a reverse. I do not think it necessary to make a statement of facts to establish the correctness of this declaration, but will simply add that the brilliant success of the reconnaissance shows it was well arranged and splendidly executed.

The order to make the reconnaissance fixed no hour at which the