War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0221 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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did not go back, General Gracie coming up and putting his right on the turnpike. The personal gallantry of General Barton I do not question. he exposed himself to fire in my presence frequently, but his evident inability to manage his command caused me to ask for another commander for the brigade. The officers of this brigade have stated that the men did not misbehave. My own observation and that of my staff, and other gentlemen who were with me, will prove beyond a cavil that large numbers ran from the field and could not be checked. I have stated that the regiment and a half on the left of the turnpike were forced across the turnpike to the right. I am satisfied that much the larger portion ran directly from the field. When I can make a report of this combat the part acted by each regiment will be noted. I am happy to state on the 16th instant, under Colonel Fry, this brigade performed its part well.

Respectfully submitted.

R. RANSOM, JR.,

Major-General.

P. S.-In moving to the right General Gracie captured a party of some 40 men who had reached the left of General Barton. Anything like vigor on the part of General Barton would, in my judgment, have prevented the necessity of calling Gracie from his position, thereby exposing the left of the entire line and causing a withdrawal of the force much earlier than was contemplated.

R. R., JR.

[Third indorsement.]

MAY 20, 1864.

Respectfully referred to General Bragg.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

[Fourth indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES CONFEDERATE STATES,

May 21, 1864.

Respectfully returned to Adjutant-General.

The report of Major-General Ransom explains fully the reasons for the relieving of Brigadier-General Barton. The case comes under the act of February 17, 1864, "to provide for retiring officers of the army." General Ransom has been called on for a detailed report, which will be submitted to the President for his action. In the mean time Brigadier-General Barton, if he desires it, can avail himself of an investigation before an examining board as provided by the law.

BRAXTON BRAGG,

General.

[Fifth indorsement.]

JULY 21, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War with a request that it may be brought to the consideration of the President.

In my judgment the case should have an early investigation in order that Brigadier-General Barton may be afforded an opportunity of defending himself against the allegations made against him by Major-General Ransom, who recommends a court of inquiry. I do not concur with General Bragg that the case comes under the act of February 17, 1864, "to provide for retiring officers of the army."