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[179] to Shiloh. Instead of being a mere reply, however, it contains a good deal of irrelevant matter, an excuse for which it is difficult to find. One is offered though, which I will notice before going further.

It seems that the General has “reason to assume” that Colonel Wm. Preston Johnston and myself conferred very fully in relation to certain statements touching him (General Ruggles) which appear in the Colonel's Life of Albert Sidney Johnston. Permit me to say that the General is mistaken. My connection with the matter is this: Colonel Johnston wrote asking for any information I might have bearing upon the question of the delay in the concentration. In reply I sent him substantially the article over which the General exhibits such unseemly excitement, viz: that in your December number. I suppose General Ruggles had an opportunity to express himself upon the same subject. If it had but little weight I would not be surprised if the reason should be found in the General's contempt for that essential of the historian, “fact.”

My article in your December number was written and published solely to correct certain impressions conveyed by one from General Jordan, in your August number. It never occured to me that I was saying anything to wound the feelings of General Ruggles. My desire was to show that Polk was not responsible for the delay, as his movement was dependent on that of troops in his front. I had to show when and how those troops moved, but not a single word was written that could be twisted into a reflection upon them. For fear that some one might feel hurt, I even took pains to repudiate every intention of casting blame, claiming that the delay was due to the elements, and quoting General Beauregard in proof. Finally, the quotation from General Polk's official report was made in order to show that if there was an issue, it was, as General Polk distinctly made it, between General Bragg and General Polk. The General must, therefore, pardon me if I insist that he keep his place. His issue is with Colonel Johnston and Colonel Munford, who remove the responsibility from General Bragg's shoulders, where General Polk placed it, and put upon his General Ruggles's. I have no desire to follow their example, much preferring to leave the matter as left by the principals. Nor will I, but in order to convince the General that I have every desire to treat him justly, I will go outside my path and endeavor to answer his article.

First, as to the personalities in which the General permits himself to indulge. They are so much out of place, so beneath the occasion, and so utterly unworthy of the gentleman I knew nineteen years ago as General Ruggles, I must be allowed to pass them over. As to the General's statement that no one ever heard of his division being late


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Shiloh, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (1)

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