where our cooperation would have been impossible, and where reinforcements could not have reached him. He was ordered to the east, to take part in a combined attack upon a detachment
. He moved southward, to fight an army
in a position where aid could not have reached him. His movement defeated my purpose, distinctly expressed to him, of uniting all the expected reinforcements with his army, a measure necessary to give reasonable hope of success.
Yet, in all his publications on the subject, General Pemberton
repeats the assertion, that obedience to this order exposed him to attack and led to his defeat-when his design and objects, and mine, were founded on exactly opposite military principles.
But this march of Pemberton
's would have involved no other commander in a battle.
He moved but three or four miles on the 15th.
The presence of the enemy was reported to him that night.1
It frustrated the intention in such slow course of execution; therefore, he must have felt himself free to return to the “chosen ground” 2
near Edwards's Depot
, on which his “matured plans” were to have been executed.
His army could have marched to it in about an hour.
Even if he had a right to think himself acting under my order on the 15th, he could not have thought so on the 16th; for at 6.30 A. M.3
he received my third order, again directing him to march to the east to meet me, that our troops might be united.
Obedience was easy, for the engagement did not begin