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[404] now, he thinks the enemy cannot disturb us before to-morrow, and by that time your main body will be near the remainder of the army. He suggests that, if it is considered practicable to destroy the bridge when the division goes there and the artillery is placed in position, the commanding officers call for volunteers to go to the bridge with lightwood and other combustible material that can be obtained, and set fire to it.

Yours respectfully,

A. P. Mason, Major and A. A. G. Lieutenant-General Stewart, Commanding.

These two orders were the only instructions given by General Hood. Analyze and construe them as you will and you cannot find one word to sustain the assertion of General Hood, that he ordered me to move to Allatoona, “capture the garrison if practicable and gain possession of the supplies.”

If General Hood knew that the Allatoona Pass was fortified and garrisoned and then sent troops there to fill up the cut with logs, brush, rails, etc., and did not inform the commander that it was so fortified and garrisoned, then he committed an almost criminal act. If he did not know it he should not be blamed for it, and I never have heard an individual complain of his not knowing it. Wherefore, then, did he attempt to pass it down to history that he gave certain orders, when, in truth, he did no such thing?

In my official report made to him one month after the battle, I said: “The General-in-Chief was not aware from these orders, that the pass was fortified and garrisoned that I was sent to have filled up.” I did not intend this as a reflection on him, because it would be unreasonable to expect a commander to know what disposition or all the dispositions an antagonist had made of his commands and stores many miles to the rear, and I am sorry General Hood undertook to make a record of his information, when that information possessed and not imparted to me was an act for which he would be condemned.

I, therefore, repeat that General Hood gave me no instructions about Allatoona except to fill up the cut, while he was profuse in details about the garrison at the bridge. And this is all very simple. He could infer, and it was natural to suppose, that the bridge over the Etowah was guarded, while he would not even conjecture that Allatoona was fortified. Further, if he knew of the garrison and vast stores, and wished them captured, why did he leave the command sent there isolated and unprotected?

The facts in the case are these: Hood, with the main army, moved

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