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(Indorsement.) Respectfully forwarded to Major-General Thomas.
J. M. Schofield, Major-General.

This last, while showing that General Wilson had not received at 10:10 A. M. on the 16th any orders from General Thomas later than that above quoted, appears to indicate that he had received some previous order, referred to in the words ‘unless it is intended that I shall push out as directed last night’; for the order above quoted from the records did not indicate any intention that he should ‘push out’ unless the enemy was in retreat.

An order in writing, as heretofore stated, was received by me very soon after dark on the 15th. It has disappeared from the official records, both those of General Thomas and mine. If any other orders were issued by General Thomas, I have no personal knowledge of the fact.

In my judgment, whatever orders were issued by General Thomas on the night of December 15 or in the morning of the 16th are essential to truthful history; and I am sure they must have been more creditable to General Thomas, though they may have been based upon erroneous foresight of the enemy's action, which is necessarily very common in war, than the absence from the records of any orders from him to govern the operations of the army the next day, and the fact, which appears from the records, that some of the troops at least did not receive any orders from General Thomas, at any time, upon which they could act on December 16.

It seems at least strange that this absence of orders given in the night of the 15th or morning of the 16th should have passed without comment, especially in view of the very full orders issued on the 14th and in the night of the 16th.

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