War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0101 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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Before closing, general, I desire to bear testimony to the important fact that when we reached Ripley, your judgment, and the judgment of officers high in command, would have turned you back, had it not been that your orders to proceed were positive; and for the reason that only a short time before you had conducted another expediting to near the same point, and had returned, because you considered farther progress extremely hazardous, if not impracticable. In the face of this decision you were sent through the same country, encumbered with a heavy train, without, so far as I know, discretionary powers; and you went on to meet the disaster your better judgment told you was imminent shr an enemy in foy. As to the slanderous charges with which the country is being flooded concerning you personally, they are simply false, and beneath your notice or mine.


Colonel Ninety- fifth Ohio Infantry, Commanding.

MEMPHIS, TEN., June 26, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

GENERAL: I send my aide, Captain W. C. Rawolle, to visit you in person, in order that you may receive a true version of the circumstances which led to the failure of my expediting. I regret that I have not yet been able to complete my official report and furnish you with a copy. I am exceedingly anxious that you receive the newspaper slanders for what they are worth, and make up your mind as to my part o this unfortunate affair only after hearing the truth. On returning to Memphis I asked General Washburn to relieve me from active duty for the present. He did so, and directed me to report by telegraph to the Secretary of War. This I did, but have received no reply. I also made application for a court to investigate the causes of our defeat. A court or commission has been ordered, but not at my request, and nearly all the commanders of DIVISIONS and brigades (whom I asked might be summoned) have again taken the field. The commission, I learn, will meet to- morrow, and I am retained as a witness. In short, there is no doubt but this is a simple inquisition, and I do hope you will dissolve it and order a commission of intelligent officers who will give me a hearing. I inclose copies of communications received from Colonel McMillen, who commanded the infantry, and Colonel Waring, + who commanded a brigade of cavalry. I have others and will receive still others from nearly all commanders, as they have called upon me to tender their testimony in regard to my conduct of the campaign. If your order a court I hope it will be at some other point than this, say Cincinnati or Louisville, or anywhere except here.

I am, general, very respectfully,


Brigadier- General.

COVINGTON, KY., January 12, 1864 [1865]

Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND, U. S. Army,

Assistant Adjutant- General:

COLONEL: Inclosed you will please find a communication which (though addressed to yourself) I will thank you to lay before the hon.


See June 24, p. 100

+See June 23, p. 98.