War of the Rebellion: Serial 053 Page 0378 KY., SW. VA.,TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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[CHAP. XLII.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Numbers 254.

Memphis, Tenn., October 15, 1863.

I. Brigadier General G. M. Dodge, having reported from leave of absence, will proceed to Corinth and take command of the Left Wing of this corps, relieving Brigadier General E. A. Carr.

II. Brigadier General E. A. Carr, on being relieved by Brigadier-General Dodge, will report to corps headquarters in Memphis in person for orders.

* * * * * * *

By order of Major General S. A. Hurlbut:

T. H. HARRIS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

La Grange, Tenn., October 15, 1863.

Colonel H. BINMORE,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Sixteenth Army Corps:

COLONEL: In reply to a telegram received last night from the major-general commanding, I feel it my duty to say that I do not think General Sweeny was to blame for not placing the troops in better position to intercept Chalmers.

Sweeny was not able to get control of the cavalry, and it does not seem to have acted under his instructions; he could get no news where it or the enemy was, and I do not see how he could have done better than he did.

After he knew of the attack on Collirville (which was Sunday night) it was too late for infantry to get beyond them, as they were then across Coldwater.

If the cavalry had been ready so that he could have started from here on Saturday morning, according to my orders, he would have intercepted the rebels on their way to Collierville when they were together, and would have thrashed them handsomely.

I think the principal cause of failure was the fact that the cavalry acted independently.

I never received any report or information from them except what I got by accident; and after Sweeny was ordered to take command Hatch did not send him any report for two days, and neither Sweeny nor I knew where he was, east, west, north, or south.

The general may remember my suppositions, telegraphed to him on Monday morning, as to the whereabouts of the cavalry, which turned out to be wrong; they, the suppositions, agreed with and were partly taken from the opinion of Colonel Hatch's acting assistant adjutant-general, who was here on his way to join him and could not find him. I have feared something of this kind from the time I first took this command, but did not like to ask to have more troops placed under me nor to criticise arrangements made by higher authority.

While General Grierson was in command, however, I had no trouble, but could get all I wanted from the cavalry. Since he left, things have been different. I did not know for some time that Colonel Hatch had assumed command, and moved to Memphis, and the cavalry was constantly moved without my knowledge.