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[180] till twelve years had passed, permit me to call attention to page 110, Jordan's Life of Forrest, published in 1868. There it is stated that one division of Bragg's corps was late, and as the official reports and correspondence show that Withers was not late, and that Ruggles was, the inference is clear.

We now come to the essential point in the General's “reply.” Who was responsible for the delay on the 5th of April, 1862, in the formation of the line of battle?

In my first article, as said, I was disposed to put the blame on the elements, but General Ruggles has shown me in this I erred; from his article I gather that he had a great deal to do with it. For a thorough understanding of the question at issue, some reference to the roads and order of march is first necessary. See map, page 559, Life of A. S. Johnston. This involves a repetition of some things said in your December number, but it is unavoidable.

The Bark road was virtually an extension of the Ridge road. This latter, leaving Corinth by the north, gradually by an extended sweep turned east, terminating, as we have said, in the Bark road. Up to a point some two or three miles west of Mickie's Cross-roads and house, it was the Ridge road; from that point to about where the line of battle was formed, some three miles to the east of Mickie's, it was the Bark road. This Ridge or Bark road was crossed nearly at right angles by two roads leading from Monterey north, one the Monterey and Purdy road, crossing some two or three miles west of Mickie's, the other the Monterey and Savannah road, crossing at Mickie's. By the order of march, Hardee and Polk were to follow the Ridge and Bark roads, Bragg was to assemble his corps at Monterey and march one division (Withers's) direct to Mickie's by the Savannah road, while the other (Ruggles's) was to be taken to the same point by following the Purdy road to the crossing of the Bark road, thence taking the latter in rear of Hardee. It was understood that should Polk's column (Clark's division) marching in rear of Hardee, reach this crossing before Ruggles, it was to wait till Ruggles had passed to its front. Hardee was to push on to the point chosen for the line of battle and there form. Bragg was to follow closely and form promptly the second line of battle, while Polk's one division (Clark's), on the Bark road in Ruggles's rear, was to halt at Mickie's.

Such in brief was the order [see page 188, Vol. I, Official Reports Battles C. S. A.; also, page 555 Life of Albert Sidney Johnston] (special order No. 8, April 3d, 1862) under which General Ruggles, in common with the troops of which we write, marched out of Corinth.

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