by which the non-military agencies of government interfere with the operations of armies.
The War Department telegraph corps alone was intrusted with the cipher in which General Thomas
and I could communicate with each other by telegraph.
Neither he, nor I, nor any of our staff officers were permitted to know the telegraph code.
The work was so badly done that from eight to forty-eight hours were occupied in sending and delivering a despatch.
Finally the cipher-operator attached to my headquarters in the field deserted his post and went to Franklin
, so that the time required for a messenger to ride from Franklin
to my position in the field was added to the delay caused by deciphering despatches.
From all this it resulted that my superior at Nashville
was able to give me little assistance during the critical days of that campaign.
It has been generally supposed that I was all that time acting under orders or instructions from General Thomas
, and his numerous despatches have been quoted in ‘histories’ as evidence in support of that supposition.
The fact is that I was not only without any appropriate orders or instructions nearly all the time, but also without any timely information from General Thomas
to guide my action.
This fact appears to have been fully recognized by General Thomas
in his official report, wherein he made no mention of any orders or instructions given by him during the progress of those operations, but referred only to ‘instructions already given’ before I went to Pulaski
, and said: ‘My plans and wishes were fully explained to General Schofield
, and, as subsequent events will show, properly appreciated and executed by him.’1