War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0766 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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[Indorsement on General Baker's report of the capture by the enemy of his picket-lines on the 3rd instant.*]

HEADQUARTERS LEE'S CORPS,

Phillips' House, August 8, 1864.

Respectfully returned to Major-General Clayton for a further indorsement and an expression of opinion with reference to the conduct of General Baker, who does not seem to have acted with any degree of energy upon the occasion. The lieutenant-general commanding desires also to be informed why General Baker did not himself take command of the attacking party, as it seems to have consisted of more than one-half of his effective force, and particularly when there was apparently so much indecision and vacillation exhibited by the officer in command.

By command of Lieutenant-General Lee:

J. W. RATCHFORD,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS LEE'S CORPS,

Phillips' House, August 9, 1864.

Major General H. D. CLAYTON,

Commanding Division:

GENERAL: General Lee directs me to return to you the accompanying papers+ and to say that, after examining them, he thinks that the conduct of the pickets of Baker's brigade was highly improper on the 3rd instant. His note to you was written for the purpose of showing his dissatisfaction with their behavior, as that brigade had lost its picket-line oftener than any other brigade in the corps and had never retaken them. This he attributes to a want of spirit on the part of the officers and men, as was plainly evince don the 3rd instant, and he thinks their failure to retake their pits on that occasion was owing in the first instance to the delay and indecision of the officer in command of the troops sent out for that purpose, and subsequently to a want of energy and promptness on the part of the brigade commander. The general's note was intended to refer particularly to the affair of the 3d, and not to the last occasion spoken of by General Baker, upon which he is glad to learn that the men acted with so much gallantry. Baker's brigade was mentioned specially in the note because its pickets had been driven in oftener than those of any other brigade, and at this the general was very much mortified. No further action will, however, be taken in the matter by him, and he is sorry if he has done injustice either to the brigade or its commander, and hopes that their conduct hereafter will convince him that he was incorrect in his impression of their behavior.

I am, general, very respectful, your obedient servant,

J. W. RATCHFORD,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS LEE'S CORPS, Numbers 63.

Phillips' House, August 12, 1864.

The lieutenant-general commanding is gratified with the gallantry and determination displayed by the skirmishers of this corps in re-

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*Baker's report not found.

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+Not found as inclosures.