War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0098 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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alry, to which they seemed to look for protection, and many fell out of the ranks in consequence of the rapidity of the march.

In regard to statements circulated, charging you with being intoxicated during the march and on the field of battle, I can safely say, from my own observation, that they are entirely false.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Colonel Ninth Minnesota Vols., and Late Commanding First Brigade.

MEMPHIS, TENN., June 23, 1864.

Brigadier General S. D. STURGIS:

GENERAL: In reply to your communication of yesterday I repeat what I expressed to you at Ripley in presence of Colonels McMillen and Hoge, that to advance beyond that point under the circumstances would in my opinion lead to disaster. The command was encumbered with a large train. The roads were in very bad condition, and the movement toward the enemy's line of communication had been so slow as to give him ample time to learn our strength and concentrate his forces. Not having seen your instructions, I do not know, except from conversation with yourself, what dispositions you were compelled to make in accordance therewith. I cannot form an opinion upon all the points in relation to which you ask it sufficiently decided and satisfactory to admit of its publication. Since returning from the expedition I have heard reports to the effect that you were drunk on the field of battle, and I take pleasure in saying that I know them to be false. Neither then nor during the expedition did I see in you the least sign of any undue use of intoxicating liquor. No other charges of personal misconduct against yourself have come to my knowledge, and I believe that you used your best endeavors to obey the orders of your superiors and to accomplish the objects of the expedition.

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




White's Station, June 23, 1864.

Brigadier General S. D. STURGIS:

GENERAL: I have received your letter of this date, asking me to state my opinion of the manner in which you conducted the recent expedition into Mississippi, and of the extent to which the failure of that expedition is to be attributed to your fault. In reply I beg to state that (while I was not informed of the precise orders under which you proceeded, and had no means of knowing the full import of the information which you received of the position, strength, and intentions of the enemy) so far as I was able to judge of the objects of the expedition, and of the forces opposed to us, I at no time doubted that it was your duty to go on and to engage the enemy wherever he might be found. On the day of the battle of Brice's Cross-Roads I commanded the head of the column, and found it impossible to get any but the most vague information concerning, the rebel force in our front until we actually reached the field