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[324] very positively that neither of their corps would be able to hold its position next day; because, they said, a part of each was enfiladed by Federal artillery.

The part of General Polk's corps referred to was that of which I had conversed with Brigadier-General Shoupe. On that account they urged me to abandon the ground immediately, and cross the Etowah.

A discussion of more than an hour followed, in which they very earnestly and decidedly expressed the opinion, or conviction rather, that when the Federal artillery opened upon them next day it would render their positions untenable in an hour or two.

Although the position was the best we had occupied, I yielded at last, in the belief that the confidence of the commanders of two of the three corps of the army, of their inability to resist the enemy, would inevitably be communicated to their troops, and produce that inability. Lieutenant-General Hardee, who arrived after this decision, remonstrated against it strongly, and was confident that his corps could hold its ground, although less favorably posted. The error was adhered to, however, and the position abandoned before daybreak.

The army was led to the Etowah,1 crossed it about

1 Near the railroad-bridge.

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