HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, near Atlanta, August 16, 1864.
Major- General HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: It occurs to me that preliminary to a future report of the history of this campaign, I should record certain facts of great personal interest to officers of this command.
General McPherson was killed by the musketry fire at the beginning of the battle of July 22. He had in person selected the ground for his troops, constituting the left wing of the army, I being in person with the center, General Schofield. The moment the information reached me I sent one of my staff to announce the fact to General McPherson if possible, but if pressed to hard to refuse his left flank, but at events to hold the railroad and main Decatur road; that I did not propose to move or gain ground by that flank, but rather by the right, and that I wanted the Army of the Tennessee to fight it out unaided. General Logan admirably conceived my orders and executed them, and if he gave ground on the left of the Seventeenth Corps, it was properly done by my orders, but he held a certain hill by the right division of the Seventeenth Corps, the only ground on that line the possession who which by an enemy would have damaged us by giving a reverse fire on the remainder of the troops. General Logan fought that battle out as required unaided, save by a small brigade sent by my orders from General Schofield to the Decatur road well to the rear, where it was reported the enemy's cavalry had got into the town of Decatur and was operating directly on the rear of Logan, but that brigade was not disturbed, and was replaced that night by a part of the Fifteenth Corps, next to General Schofield, and General Schofield's brigade brought back, so as to be kept together on its own line.
General Logan managed the Army of the Tennessee well during his command, and it may be that an unfair inference might be drawn to his prejudice, because he did not succeed to the permanent command. I was forced to choose a commandeer, not only for the army in the field, but of the Department of the Tennessee, covering a vast extent of country with troops much dispersed. It was a delicate and difficult task, and I gave preference to Major General O. O. Howard, then in command of the Fourth Army Corps in the Department of the Cumberland. Instead of giving my reasons I prefer that the wisdom of the choice be left to the test of time. The President kindly ratified my choice, and I am willing to assume the responsibility. I meant no disrespect to any officer, and hereby declare that general Logan submitted with the grace and dignity of a soldier, gentleman, and patriot, resumed the command of his corps proper (Fifteenth), and enjoys the love ad respect of his army and his commanders.
It so happened that on the 28th of July I had again thrown the same army to the extreme right, the exposed flank, where the enemy repeated the same maneuver, striking in mass the extreme corps deployed in line and refused as a flank (the Fifteenth, Major- General Loagan), and he commanded in person, General Howard and myself being near, and that corps, as heretofore reported, repulsed the rebel army completely, and next day advanced and occupied the ground fought over and the road the enemy sought to cover. General Howard, who had that very day assumed his new command, unequivocally gave General Logan all the credit possible, and I also beg to add my unqualified admiration of the