could not be properly taken, and calculated to destroy the personal regard than a just and dignified course toward subordinates always engenders.
At about 5 o'clock p.m. General John Beatty rode to my quarters and said that he had been ordered to relieve me. I told him that I knew nothing about it; that I had no orders. He said he had been ordered by General Negley to relieve me. Neither he nor General Negley intimated to me that they had been sent by any authority competent to relieve me, nor that there was any emergency in the case, and neither had any message or order for me. (See their letters marked A and B.)
General Beatty says that he thought that I wished to remain there, and that I seemed to like the ground. I have always liked the ground assigned me in a line of battle well enough to hold it. I had been assigned to this ground by my proper commander. General Negley was not my commander, nor did he ever intimate to me that he had been sent by any of my commanders; the firing then heard was 3 miles from our position, and he did not assign that or any other reason for exercising authority, nor did he or any one else give me any order whatever.
Soon after General Beatty left me, General Negley rode up to my quarters, and did not even intimate the object of his visit, but merely asked the position of my pickets. I did not even suppose his visit to be official, or what his object in asking the question was other than to correct his with mine. I had met General Negley frequently during the day, and did not deem that the strictest courtesy required anything further of me. He at once rode away without endeavoring to enlighten me. I certainly had no cause or desire to treat him rudely. Of the expression of nonchalance to which he refers, he entirely mistakes the cause. The picket office of the division, Colonel Payne, One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, had but the moment previous reported to me "that he had labored all the afternoon to post his pickets,as he had been directed by a staff officer, and that they were scattered through a thick wood in such a way as to be unintelligible to him, and he could give me no satisfactory account of their whereabouts. My manner was intended to express to General Negley my inability to properly answer his question, which he entirely mistakes. I would further say that in this division, when it is together, picketing is done entirely by officers receiving all their instructions and making all their reports directly to division headquarters. That brigade commanders furnish a certain detail of men to these officers is true, but they have no control of the line of picket.
Soon after General Negley rode away, an order (marked C) was received from my proper division headquarters, which was the first intelligible intimation I had received about moving, and it was unmistakably plain. It was nearly 8 o'clock, and the roads were already filled with troops of other corps. This order directed me to follow Colonel Grose. I did not lose a moment in communicating with him and putting myself in readiness to follow him. At about 9 o'clock p.m. the order marked D was received, which was a written assurance I was still right. Colonel Grose had not started. I still held myself in readiness to follow him or obey any other instructions I might receive, as contemplated in the last order.
At 10 o'clock p.m. I received a message by an aide-de-camp of the general commanding the department, saying that the roads would