War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0197 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

by your orders, has since been assigned. This command would have been one acceptable to me, and such as I should have felt myself honored with, and was such as the many evidences of confidence I have received from Major-General Grant induces mt to suppose he desired I should have. Since then, Brigadier-General Dodge having reported for duty, and being my senior and an officer of tried merit, it was altogether proper, and without exception on my part, that he should have superseded me so far as his old command was concerned. In being ordered to report to you for the purpose indicated by General Grant, I was relieved from the command of one of the largest, and conceded to be one of the best drilled and perfectly organized, brigades in that department, and which I had commanded for nearly a year, with results commended by my commanding officers in the most flattering terms. To be separated from that command to assume an inferior one, I do not believe was the purpose of Major-General Grant. My command, as indicated by your orders, is one that I consider by no means equivalent to that of my old brigade, and by no means equal to the responsibilities necessarily involved in holding Corinth. Writhe three such regiments as the One hundred and eights, One hundred and thirteenth, and One hundred and twentieth Illinois Volunteers, the two regiments of African descent troops, with six companies of the Engineer regiments, constantly employed in guarding trains and repairing railroad and heavy batteries, constituting the garrison of Corinth, I feel that I have imposed upon me a responsibility that can only result in disaster and disgrace. You include nominally the regiment at Moscow in my command; practicably it is of no value to me. The cavalry brigade ordered to make its headquarters here, i cannot consider under my command. To-day I incidentally learned, without consultation with me, a part of the cavalry force I had disposed of, with your approval, was by order of General Grierson, directed to withdraw from the posts to which they were assigned; and upon your attention being called to the fact, without consultation General Grierson orders Colonel Mizner to make disposition of a portion of the remaining cavalry force to supply the place of those ordered to be removed, and this I suppose will be done. Under such circumstances I cannot rely upon the cavalry brigade as a part of the forces with which I am to hold Corinth. Certainly I cannot consider it a part of my command. My whole force when assembled here, in pursuance of your orders, will consist of about 500 of fragments of poor regiments, two regiments of colored troops, untried, six companies of the Engineer regiment subject to be taken at any moment for railroad purpose, and the batteries. The works at Corinth, to be successfully held require an infantry force of at least 8,000 men. My garrison will be but little more than 2,000 infantry, including Engineer regiment. With such bodies of the enemy as are within reach of Corinth, this force is wholly inadequate to its defense. Believing that I have been given no such command as Major-General Grant intended I should have when he ordered me from my old brigade, and considering in at injustice that I should be held responsible for the safety of Corinth with a command wholly inadequate to its defense, I would respectfully ask to be relieved, and that I be ordered to report to Major-General Grant for orders.