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[57]

If you cannot reach your position to-night do so early to-morrow.

(Signed),

Braxton Bragg, Major-General Commanding.

In continuation, I then said: “To have communicated in advance, under the circumstances, would have endangered my official integrity, and, as is apparent, was entirely unnecessary.” General Bragg, in his report of the battle of Shiloh, dated April 30, 1862, states that “the road to Monterey, eleven miles, was found very bad, requiring us until eleven o'clock on the 4th to concentrate at that place, where one of my brigades joined the column.” This was Colonel R. L. Gibson's detached brigade. General Chalmers's brigade, Withers's division, had previously marched that morning for Mickey's, direct. It appears that that which was “certainproves quite uncertain — in fact, unfounded! “Was this charge made” (by Colonel Johnston) “on the principle that the effects of poisons are cumulative--as corroborative evidence?”

The following letter, written by General Bragg at 10 o'clock A. M., April 4th, from Monterey, to General Johnston or General Beauregard, forms an important incident in the history of the march:

My Dear General,--I reached here at half-past 8 o'clock, ahead of my rear division. Bad roads, insufficient transportation badly managed, and the usual delays of a first move of new troops have caused the delay. My first division (Withers's) is at Mickey's, and the ignorance of the guide for the second (Ruggles's), as well as the reports I receive from people here, induced me to order my second division to move on the same road as the first. I am also influenced to do this from the information I have of General Hardee's advance.” * * * “I will send a courier to notify General Polk of my change.” p. 564.

“The ‘special orders as to the movement of troops’ directed Bragg to move from Monterey to Mickey's with Withers's division, while Ruggles's division was to move from Monterey on the road to Purdy, which crossed the Bark road more than two miles in rear of Mickey's.” See p. 566.

“ Had Ruggles pursued this route he could have passed to the left of Mickey's and deployed without interferences or obstruction from Hardee's or Withers's divisions. But Bragg's order, changing Ruggles's line of march and bringing him in rear of these commands, debarred any movements until they had cleared the way. To this cause of delay was added the confusion arising from any change of orders with raw ”


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