naissance of the 7th was made at the earliest possible moment compatible with the safety of my command and the success of the reconnaissance, and hence that there was nothing in the delay which occurred in the forenoon of the 7th partaking of the nature of disobedience of orders or of neglect of duty.
The bold and brilliant manner in which the reconnaissance was conducted vindicates my arrangements, and to make them time was necessary. I regret now that I did not write a note during the forenoon of the 7th, for the information of the corps and department commanders, saying the reconnaissance would be delayed till noon in its movements on account of the necessity of making necessary arrangements in advance. Not so to write was simply an unintentional oversight, and I can only say in explanation of it that I was busily engaged the whole forenoon of the 7th up to 11.30 in the field on horseback making the necessary dispositions, and that I wrote the note of 11.30 a.m. at the first moment that I dismounted from my horse. I request that this letter be forwarded, with the accompanying documents, to department headquarters. It is necessary to a full understanding of the whole question.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
TH. J. WOOD,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, September 26, 1863.
I have never in any communication to department headquarters blamed General Wood for changing his position. I did expressly leave this matter to his discretion, and therefore, if he did wrong, I am to blame. I will be entirely satisfied if the communications submitted by General Wood vindicate him at department headquarters for his delay in making the reconnaissance.
General Wood did not apprise me of the delay in making the reconnaissance until 11.30 a.m., although he received the order to make it, without loss of time, at 7.45 a.m., and when he did inform me of the delay he added that he would during the day make the reconnaissance, as ordered, with Harker's brigade. I think it was General Wood's duty to have informed me at once of the delay which he claims was necessary in making the reconnaissance, and that I did him no injustice in my communication on the subject to department headquarters. General Wood has disclaimed any intention of being disrespectful to me in any of his communications, and I hope this matter is ended.
T. L. CRITTENDEN,
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FIRST DIV., 21ST ARMY CORPS, September 16, 1863.
Captain M. P. BESTOW,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division:
CAPTAIN: I believe the position at the junction of the Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad with the Chattanooga and Trenton Railroad,
*See also pp. 681-684.