War of the Rebellion: Serial 052 Page 0457 Chapter XLII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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ateness in General Crittenden's lugging the commanding general into this remark in his indorsement.

In my remarks in this connection I sought to set forth the reasons which influenced me to change the site of my vibouac Sunday night, which General Crittenden had made the basis of a charge against me, saying that I had made the change on my own judgment, without authority from him. I was in a difficult situation, requiring prompt action, leaving no time to consult any higher commander. I acted as the safety of my command imperatively demanded I should. By the change I increased my own means of defense and enhanced my power to injure the enemy in every way. I left a site which could be assailed in front, on both flanks, and in the rear, simultaneously, with perfect ease, and without my being at all able to prevent such an attack. The site is entirely open, and is immediately at the junction of the Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad with the Chattanooga and Trenton Railroad. By the change I gained a commanding site, difficult of approach in front, and tolerably protected on the flanks and in the rear. Moreover, I could not suppose that by the order to move my command to the junction of the two railroads, it was intended I should encamp athwart them and never change to another site. I fully accept the responsibility of my action.

General Crittenden expressed the opinion that I have imperfectly vindicated myself against the charge of neglect of duty in losing time in making the reconnaissance. I utterly disagree with General Crittenden. I maintain that I have fully vindicated myself against the charge. General Crittenden had fixed no hour for the movement, and I started the reconnaissance at the earliest possible moment compatible, in my judgment, with the safety of my command. To have moved earlier would have endangered the safety of my command, and could not have accomplished any result or gained any knowledge which the reconnaissance did not fully achieve. With imperfect knowledge of the facts by which my action was necessarily controlled; with imperfect knowledge of the dangers which environed my command, and which I had to guard against, and without first affording me an opportunity to make an explanation in regard to the matter, General Crittenden sits in judgment on my conduct and makes a grave and hurtful charge against me to the commanding general of the army. The want of justice and generosity in such a cause I am sure will be apparent to any impartial, generous, and enlightened mind.

In conclusion I most cheerfully submit my conduct to the decision of the commanding general, but with many regrets that General Crittenden should have rendered an appeal to him necessary at a time when all our hearts are so deeply interested in the great enterprise in which we are engaged. I am quite sure that if General Crittenden had acted with a little more deliberation and taken the trouble to ask an explanation of me, he would l have been satisfied that all due expedition had been observed in making the reconnaissance, that his order was effectually carried out, and the public interest fully subserved.

I am, general,very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.