originally formed part of the records have disappeared therefrom.
Their influence upon historical opinion, if ever recovered, may now only be suggested.
It must be observed as a very notable fact that the official records, replete with orders and instructions issued every day, and almost every hour, contain no record whatever of any written order or instructions from General Thomas
, given after the close of operations on December 15, for the operations which actually took place the next day. The only indications in the records, so far as I have been able to discover, that any orders were given by General Thomas
, either orally or in writing, on the night of December 15, are the following ‘orders of the day’ for the Fourth Army Corps, issued by General Wood
after a personal interview with General Thomas
that night; the order in writing from General Thomas
to General Wilson
, December 15; and the despatch from General Wilson
to myself, dated December 16, 10:10 A. M. They are as follow: