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[202] Chicamauga. There are many living officers and men who know how little of blame should have attached to him for Hindman's palpable disobedience of order in McLemore's Cove, and General Polk's failure to attack Crittenden's corps in its isolated position, immediately after Hindman's fiasco.

The September No. 1881, of the Southern Historical Society Papers contains an interesting and eloquent address of Colonel Archer Anderson at the annual reunion of the Virginia Division of the Army of Northern Virginia. After describing quite graphically and correctly the topography of McLemore's Cove and the singular dispersion of Rosecrans's army, Colonel Anderson says:

Surely if ever an army was caught “in flagrante delicto,” caught in its sin, this was now the position of the Federal army. You can judge of the magnition of its peril, when you learn that it took four days of hard marching to effect its concentration, after Rosecrans awoke to his situation. It was about fifteen miles from Crittenden's position to Thomas's advance, and the Confederate right was almost interposed between these two corps. It required, in effect, thirtyseven miles of marching over mountain roads to pass from McCook's corps to Thomas's, and to crown the opportunity for a swift stroke Thomas's two advance divisions were separated by Lookout Mountain from the rest of his corps.

This was the brilliant opportunity which General Bragg lost with his eyes open, with full knowledge of the false position of Thomas's two divisions. On the very evening of the day they reached it, he gave orders for an attack on the 10th, which should have crushed them. This attack did not take place on the 10th, through causes which may perhaps be accepted as unavoidable, but the enemy was good enough to wait in his false position till after 8 o'clock of the morning of the 11th. During three hours of day-light on that morning, these two divisions lay at the mercy of 30,000 Confederates. Can it be denied, that the Confederates ought to have been ready to attack at day-break? The whole of the day and night of the 10th had been allowed for preparation. Why were they not hurled to the attack at dawn, on the 11th? Why not at 6 o'clock? Why not at 7?

The answer to these questions must, I fear, condemn General Bragg as a commander.

No one with a full knowledge of the facts, can concur with Colonel Anderson in his conclusions.

General Bragg in his report of the battle of Chickamauga, refers to

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