War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0296 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

Search Civil War Official Records

nificent successes of this army I should have been willing to make no report at all and to let the division take only that share of the common glory which could not fail to be reflected upon it. Certainly I had no intention to detract from others int he hope of adding to the credit of the division I have the honor to command, least of all could I utter a word of criticism on the Second Division for such an unworthy purpose. but if I wrote at all I must write the truth. As this was the spirit in which the report was written, I told the brevet major-general commanding I would read the report over again and see if it could be altered and retain those essential elements. I have read and reread the report, and the result is that I cannot change it, but i am quite ready to make more detailed statements on all the points to which the brevet major-general referred. I understand those points to be: First, that the report criticizes the Second division; second, that the brevet major-general commanding the corps calls for the names of the officers belonging to the Second Division whom I saw running away, who failed to stop and rally their commands; third, that the brevet major-general commanding the corps considers me mistaken as to the matter of fact, as to whether the right of the second line of the Second Division did, immediately after entering the wood where they met the enemy, fly from that wood in panic and confusion; fourth, that my own report is incorrect in the statement that no portion of my command broke during the engagement, that, in fact, a portion of my troops did break and were rallied by General Grover, commanding the Second Division; fifth, that my own manner of executing an order on the morning of the 22nd of September is not fully stated in my report, and is open to criticism.

In reply to the first point I have the honor again respectfully to refer the brevet major-general commanding to the report itself-it is a statement of facts, not a criticism; it states what did happen with regard to the Second Division, not what ought to have been done; that there was a disaster, not hat there should have been none, or that the cause of it was inadequate; it makes there statements not in the detail which a desire to criticism would evoke, but only in those places and of those portions of that command where the action of the First Division, and what happened, affected its conduct, its duty, and its share in the battle. To say what I have of the conduct of the Second Division is as essential to an understanding of the part taken by the First Division in the early part of the battle as is the statement of the rapid and successful advance of General Crook's command later in the day to the part the division then took in the action. The first is most dwelt on because its influence held longer and more important sway. No personal considerations influenced me for an instant. I have the highest respect and regard for the commanding general of that division. Had my own brother commanded it my report would have been the same.

Second. I do not know the names of the officers of that division, and the confusion among the many officers and men who passed me in that open field in passing to the rear was too great for me, at the time, to recognize them or ask their names. I inclose statements of officers of my staff, which will detect some of those who went farthest to the rear, if the brevet major-general commanding deems it advisable. All of these officers went far to the rear of my front line, may of them passed me in front of that line. I made the statement conceding them, contained in my report, from no wish to make myself their accuser. I mentioned them only as is my duty to mention all that is essential, and