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[286] desiring any further corroboration of the strict accuracy of the contrary statement made by me in my report. I am entirely willing to leave any discussion of that subject to others.

In view of the fact that I was not one of General Thomas's corps commanders, but an army commander, holding the same grade of command, by special assignment of the President under the law, as General Thomas himself, he might without military impropriety have left to me in his report, as he had before done in fact, whether intentionally or not, the entire responsibility of the operations of the army under my immediate command from Pulaski to Nashville. The record fully shows that, from the necessities of the case, I was compelled to act, and did act, upon my own judgment from the beginning to the end, not only without any timely orders, but generally without timely or accurate information from General Thomas; and that he approved, from time to time and finally, all that I had done. The question as to why he afterward claimed that all had been done in pursuance of his plans and wishes, fully explained to me in advance, I must leave to others. He was certainly under no official obligation to take upon himself any such responsibility. It may be true, as General Sherman said and General Thomas admitted, that it was his duty to take command in the field himself. But it was not his duty, being in the rear, to hamper the actual army commander in the field with embarrassing orders or instructions, nor to take upon himself the responsibility of failure or success. If I had failed in those hazardous operations, nobody could have held General Thomas responsible, unless for neglect of duty in not commanding himself in person, or in not sending me possible reinforcements. No obedience to any erroneous orders or instructions of his, sent from a distance whence the actual situation could not be seen as clearly as at the

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