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Brigadier-General Shoupe, chief of artillery, had pointed out to me what he thought a weak point near General Polk's right, a space of a hundred and fifty or two hundred yards, which, in his opinion, might be enfiladed by artillery placed on a hill more than a mile off, beyond the front of our right-so far, it seemed to me, as to make the danger trifling. Still, he was requested to instruct the officer commanding there to guard against such a chance by the construction of traverses, and to impress upon him that no attack of infantry could be combined with a fire of distant artillery, and that his infantry might safely occupy some ravines immediately in rear of this position during any such fire of artillery.

The Federal artillery commenced firing upon Hood's and Polk's troops soon after they were formed, and continued the cannonade until night.

On reaching my tent soon after dark, I found in it an invitation to meet the Lieutenant-Generals at General Polk's quarters. General Hood was with him, but not General Hardee. The two officers, General Hood taking the lead,1 expressed the opinion

1 In General Hood's second report of his operations in Georgia and Tennessee, which was made in Richmond, he contradicts this statement, which was published in my official report.

General Hardee wrote in reference to that contradiction, April 10, 1867: “At Cassville, May 19th, about ten o'clock in the evening, in answer to a summons from you, I found you at General Polk's headquarters, in company with Generals Polk and Hood. You informed me that it was determined to retire across the Etowah. In reply to my exclamation of surprise, General Hood, anticipating you, answered: ‘General Polk, if attacked, cannot hold his position three-quarters of an hour; and I cannot hold mine two hours.’ Orders were then given for the movement.”

On the same subject General W. W. Mackall wrote, April 29, 1873: “I read your report of your operations in Georgia, in Macon, soon after it was made, and every thing therein stated in regard to General Hood corresponded with my recollections, of the then recent transactions. I was not present in General Polk's quarters when the abandonment of Cassville was proposed, but, being afterward called there by you, I heard General Hood say, to a general officer who entered after me (I think General French), that it was impossible to hold his line.”

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