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[181]

But was it carried out? Early on the 4th day, after leaving Corinth, Hardee was at Mickie's, Bragg's first division, Withers, not far off, and Polk had reached the Purdy crossing, where he was to find Ruggles filing in behind Hardee. But where was Ruggles? The answer came in a note from General Bragg, dated 10 A. M., at Monterey, saying Ruggles would not move that way, but wouldfollow Withers on the Savannah road, direct to Mickie's. Polk was, therefore, not to wait, but move at once to Mickie's, where he was to meet the whole of Bragg's corps.

At the same time Bragg wrote the commanding general, “I reached here, Monterey, at half-past 8, ahead of my rear division, Ruggles's. Bad roads, insufficient transportation, badly managed, and the usual delays of a first move of new troops have caused the delay.”

Polk then continued his march, reaching Mickie's that afternoon.

From this it is clear that almost at the outset the order of march was disarranged by General Ruggles, and this notwithstanding the fact that he had but two brigades to bring to Monterey, Gibson being already there.

Let us see how the General gets around this point, for it is, and the arrangement of his argument shows that he feels it to be, one of great moment to him.

He does it by stating that special order No. 8, April 3d, the one above referred to, “directed the concentration of the main bodies of the three corps, excepting only Ruggles's division, at Mickie's or vicinity.” And finally, that his division marched there in conformity with orders from General Bragg.

The General must pardon me — but Special Order No. 8 makes no such exception in his favor; for his sake I wish it did, as he evidently had the order before him when he wrote. It is on page 555, Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, a work from which the General freely quotes. Reference to paragraph II will show what it says about Ruggles's division. It is substantially as I state it. We have now brought our statement to the night of the 4th. The movements of the 5th are next in order.

There can be no question as to the position of Hardee's, Polk's and Withers's divisions of Bragg's corps on the morning of the 5th. The first was on the Bark road, east of Mickie's; the second on the same road, west of Mickie's, but at it; the last on the Monterey and Savannah road, with its head at Mickie's, or possibly a short distance east of Mickie's, on the Bark road, between Hardee and Polk. Again, where was Ruggles? General Bragg, in his notes to Generals Johnston and Polk, said he would be behind Withers; but General Ruggles says he


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