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[527] northward. While he was talking about this to Colonel Porter, my Chief of Staff, a courier from headquarters brought a note from Major Mason, to the effect that General Hood had just learned that stragglers were passing along the road in front of my left, and “the Commanding General says you had better order your picket line to fire on them.” Upon reading the note, I ordered Major Bostick to return to General Johnson, whose command was on my left and nearest the pike, and say to him that he must take a brigade, or, if necessary, his whole division, and go on to the pike and cut off anything that might be passing. Major Bostick afterward informed me that General Johnson commenced complaining bitterly at having been “loaned out,” and asked why General Cheatham did not order one of his own divisions to go in; but at length ordered his horse and rode with Major Bostick close up to the turnpike, where they found everything quiet and no one passing. General Johnson came with Major Bostick to my quarters, and informed me of what they had done. It was now about 2 o'clock on the morning of the 30th.

This suggestion that I had better order my pickets to fire upon stragglers passing in front of my left was the only order, if that can be called an order, that I received from General Hood after leaving him at his quarters early in the night, when he had informed me of his determination to wait until daylight to attack the enemy.

What reason General Stewart gave for not reaching the turnpike I do not know. As I have already stated, General Hood said to me repeatedly, when I met him between 4 and 6 o'clock in the afternoon, “Stewart will be here in a few minutes.” Stewart's column did not come up until about dark.

General Stewart says he was at Rutherford's creek before General Brown's division crossed that stream. He also says that General Hood there ordered him to form line of battle on the south side of the creek, and that he was not allowed to move thence until dusk. If General Stewart had followed Brown he would have been in position on my right, across the turnpike, before dark. That he would have executed an order to make such disposition of his command no one who knows that officer will doubt; and he would have done it in the darkness of midnight as surely and as certainly as in the day.

General Hood wrote what he supposed would be accepted as history. Truth, and justice to myself, demand a brief review of certain statements made by him.

General Hood writes:

Since I had attempted this same movement on the 22d of July, and

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