War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0606 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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best of my ability, to support me therein. While the correspondent referred to correctly states that General Meade directed that the Second and Sixth Corps should advance independently of each other, he continues in the same connection that General Birney said to General Barlow, "You will not be dependent on any movement of the Sixth Corps," and "If General Wright is not able to connect with you you will have to look out for your left;" and still ;further on that "It does not appear that the Sixth Corps advanced far if it advanced at all. Had both corps moved forward at the dame time, even though disconnected, perhaps they might have crushed Hill's corps between them;" thus continuing to insinuate that the result to the Second Corps was occasioned by same remissness on the part of the Sixth Corps. While I deny all this most emphatically, I do not desire to present it as a matter at issue, since the two corps were directed to advance independently of each other, and whether I advanced or not is unimportant so far as the "flanking" of the Second Corps or of mine is concerned. Both my flanks were attacked, but, more fortunate than the Second, I was not driven from my position, and before the day's operations had closed had advanced my left, which was the extreme left of the army, more that two miles, and more than one mile when the disaster to the Second Corps occurred, which was preceded, or at least accompanied, by a serious attack from the enemy on my left, follow up by a less severe attack on my right. All this, with the orders I had given for the farther advance of Russell on my right, is known to the general commanding from my dispatches, and that such advance was delayed was in pursuance of his orders, issued in consequence of reports from the forces on my right. Later in the day and when the results of previous operations were known the assault was made by this corps most gallantly, and the ground for a mile or more, with the entrenchments of the enemy, was carried.

I desire further to say that Brigadier-General Russell, commanding First Division, on my right and nearest the Second Corps, states that at the time of the attack upon the Second Corps, and when he was also attacked, he was at least 600 yards in advance of the left of that corps. I attach little importance to this statement, since the two corps were advancing on diverging lines, further than to show that his flank could not be considered as behind that of the Second Corps, and that the statement of the correspondent that the Sixth Corps did not advance far, if at all, was incorrect. It is perhaps unnecessary that I should have said so much, since I advanced that morning under the direction of the commanding general in the general direction indicated by him, and which seemed to me the best, halted at his command, and finally charged upon the enemy's position according to his order. But I do protest against a newspaper correspondent giving to the country his understanding of the matter, obtained no doubt from irresponsible authority, which falsely, which falsely reflects upon the reputation of the corps which I have the honor to command, and I ask that the major- general commanding take such steps as may correct the injurious impression that has gone forth and prevent its repetition in the future. I am, of course, ready to submit the actions of the corps for the praise or censure of the commanding general, but not to that of a correspondent of a newspaper, and if the efficiency of the army is to be kept up such unauthorized criticism must, in my judgment, be stopped.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.