War of the Rebellion: Serial 052 Page 0422 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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right angles, about 200 yards in rear of the junction of the two dirt roads. Fifteen guns on frowning heights dominate and control the junction.

General Crittenden says a staff officer of General Wood's - without giving name - told some of his staff officers - still without giving any names - in his camp early this morning that I had fallen back some 4 miles. I known not what one of my staff officers General Crittenden refers to, but I am very sure that not one of my staff who has been with me since I left Shellmound has been in General Crittenden's camp to-day, and therefore, whoever he was, he had no knowledge of his own of the statement he was making, and was simply egregiously mistaken.

I think it proper to remark that it seems to me very strange that a general officer should base charges by which he means to inculpate the acts and conduct of another officer on such vague and foundationless reports, and I respectfully appeal to the commanding general to decide whether charges resting on so intangible a foundation should be made.

He (General Crittenden) charges that by my own showing I appear to have greatly endangered the safety of my command by what he styles "falling back on the Trenton road." If any part of my own showing (which word I presume General Crittenden uses synonymously with the explanations in my communications) makes it appear that I have endangered the safety of my command by the change in position I made last night, then I have been most unfortunate in my attempts at explanation,forI certainly have never been more fully convinced of any truth not yet developed into a palpable, tangible fact than I now am - and was so from the first - that the change in position has proved the salvation of my command. But, the truth is, I do not believe that any part of my correspondence shows that I endangered the safety of my command by changing my position last night, and I am perfectly willing to submit it to the enlighten and impartial judgment of the commanding general of this army.

The determination, announced in my communication to General Crittenden, to retreat by the Trenton rather than the Whiteside road, in case this painful event should become necessary, was arrived at from information and suggestions communicated to me in an official note signed by Captain Oldershaw, and written, doubtlessly (such must at least be the official conclusion), by General Crittenden's order. The information, on which the suggestion to retreat, if necessary, by the Trenton road, was obtained from a reconnaissance set on foot by me, the officer who made it having reported to General Crittenden prior to his reporting to me.

General Crittenden complains that I omitted in my note of 2 p.m. to mention that I had skirmished with the enemy for several miles, and that when I did not report on casualties. I have to remark that the failure in each instance was an unintentional oversight which (as the information was a proper part of my notes) I sincerely regret. But I must say in all frankness that I think the making of them the basis of a grave com-