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[406] altogether about 4 P. M. For a time I attributed this result to the effect of General Cox's march, but later in the afternoon the signal-flag announced the welcome tidings that the attack had been fairly repulsed.

Now, at 12:10 P. M. I received from General Armstrong, Calvary Commander, a dispatch dated 9 A. M. informing me that the enemy had sent a column of infantry up the railroad, and I have that note before me. This infantry was General Cox's corps, moving, as he says, to intercept or interpose between the detachment then assailing Allatoona and Hood's main army. Wherein, then, was the information sent me by General Armstrong false?

In the History of the Army of the Cumberland, volume II, page 161, Van Horne says:

The gallant resistance of the garrison and the movement of General Cox to his left induced General French to withdraw entirely during the afternoon, having lost one thousand men.

I have now established that the information I received was true, and I repeat, it was this movement and nothing else that induced me to withdraw, after due deliberation, to save my command — left untirely unsupported by the army of General Hood.

One word more, and I will close. Did you ever know truth to overtake error? You carried my summons to surrender under a flag of truce. You returned to me without an answer, as you have stated in your article, and I never did receive any; yet history will record a reply that never was sent, because it reads very pretty.

Very respectfully yours,

Although well known, I will here add that General Corse arrived at Allatoona with his brigade and assumed command before the action commenced, thus making the garrison equal to the attacking force. At 12 M. General Corse received a signal dispatch from General Sherman saying, “Hold on to Allatoona to the last. I will help you.” Which dispatch give rise to the beautiful hymn, “Hold the Fort, for I am coming.”


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