responsibility of allowing the enemy to pass our position on the night previous. I replied to him that I had heard nothing on that subject, and that I hoped he was mistaken. He said: “No, I think not; my information comes through a very reliable channel,” and said that he could not afford to rest under such an imputation, and that he should certainly have the matter investigated to the fullest extent, so soon as we were away from the immediate presence of the enemy. General Cleburne was quite angry, and evidently was deeply hurt, under the conviction that the Commander-in-Chief had censured him. I asked General Cleburne who was responsible for the escape of the enemy during the afternoon and night previous. In reply to that inquiry he indulged in some criticisms of a command occupying a position on the left, and concluded by saying that “of course the responsibility rests with the Commander-in-Chief, as he was upon the field during the afternoon and was fully advised during the night of the movement of the enemy.” The conversation at this point was abruptly terminated by the arrival of orders for both of us from yourself or the Commanding General. As he left he said: “We will resume this conversation at the first convenient moment,” but in less than three hours after that time this gallant soldier was a corpse upon the bloody field of Franklin. Yours very truly,
John C. Brown, Major General.