War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0356 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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senior, which you give as your reason for refusing to obey my orders, and that of General Sherman directing you to report to me. You are my junior for two reasons, first, because I have the senior commission, and second, because I am by the President's order commander of a separate army. I regret extremely that any misunderstanding exists on this subject.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., August 4, 1864--10.45 p. m.

General PALMER:

From the statements made by yourself and General Schofield to-day, my decision is that he ranks you as major-general, being of same date of commission by previous rank as brigadier-general. The movements for to-morrow are so important that the orders of the superior on that flank should be minutely followed. General Schofield's orders for movement to-morrow must be regarded as military orders and not in the nature of co-operation. I did hope that there was no necessity of making this decision, but it is better for all parties interested that no question of rank should occur during active battle. The Sandtown road and the railroad, if possible, must be gained to-morrow if it costs half your command. I regard the loss of time this afternoon as equal to the loss of 2,000 men.


Major-General, Commanding.


In the Field, August 4, 1864--11.55 p. m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

Dispatch of 10.45 of this p. m. this moment received. I am unable to acquiesce in the correctness of the decision that Major-General Schofield legally ranks me. I do not argue the question, but repeat the facts. General Schofield was appointed brigadier-general on the 21st of November, 1861, and I was appointed to the same on the 20th of December of the same year. At the session of Congress 1862--'63 General Schofield and myself were promoted to the rank of major-general of volunteers. My appointment was confirmed by the Senate, and his expired by constitutional limitation. Not having been confirmed by the Senate his name, therefore, does not appear in the list of major-generals in the Army Register of April 1, 1863. He was reappointed by the President and confirmed since the commencement of the present campaign. His commission must be a year in date junior to my own, though he is said to take rank from the 29th of November, 1862.

The question of rank has arisen by accident and I agree with you that it is better for the interest of all parties that it should be decided, but I cannot acquiesce in the correctness of the decision made. I respectfully ask, therefore, that some officer be designated to whom I may turn over the command of the Fourteenth Army Corps.

I think I need not assure you or General Schofield that I am not influenced by any desire to command him, nor that, if I deemed it consist-