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[205] met General Hindman advancing upon the enemy. I reported to him for duty, took command of my troops, which were in observation in front and upon his flank, with a detachment on the road between the enemy and Lookout Mountain, in rear of the force we were to attack and between it and any support or reinforcement.

I gave General Hindman what information I possessed about the Cove and the object and importance of the movement. The enemy remained apparently unconscious of the presence of our large force. Hours were lost in consultations. Certainly an attack could have been made by General Hindman by 11 o'clock, and probably sooner. He halted within cannon shot of the Cross-Roads. The delay was inexplicable to me. I remained near Hindman, at his request. I heard of no countermanding orders while with him. The enemy, at about 12:30, moved from his camp and escaped. Some infantry was double-quicked in the direction of the enemy then in motion. It was too late. I received a verbal order to charge the enemy's rear, and did so with some Alabama cavalry, about 150 strong, all that I had in that part of the field. I was repulsed after sharp loss inflicted by infantry and artillery.

Withdrawing to Davis's Cross-Roads, I met you there indignant and excited at what you called the utter disregard of your orders.

In reply to your inquiries, I stated what had transpired under my own observation. You expressed in the most emphatic manner your disappointment at the unexpected failure of an attack so easily to have been made and so nearly successful. I shared in your regrets, for it was then quite clear the enemy could elude your plan of attack and save his army.

I was present when General Hindman rode up, and remember your greeting was by no means cordial. I had acquainted myself, in advance of its occupation by the enemy, with the roads, gaps and topography generally of the Cove, and knew the situation and strength of the advance forces. If a prompt advance had been made by General Hindman, the enemy would have been forced to a surrender, or utter annihilation, and the destruction of this body would have left you completely master of the situation, and at liberty to turn in overwhelming force upon either Crittenden or McCook.

I had kept General Hindman constantly advised during the forenoon of what was occurring in the enemy's camp. The army was greatly chagrined at the result. Though serving constantly with it I never heard it surmised that Hindman did not attack in the forenoon

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