the subject by your Society, as well as through other mediums, both North and South, we still seem to be as far from a satisfactory solution of certain questions as ever. That the Army of the Confederate States, when the battle closed on Sunday, the 20th, had won one of the greatest victories of the war, no one, be he Federal or Confederate, who participated in the fight, will for a moment deny. This fact was patent to all who were on the field the next morning. There is no question that when General Rosencranz determined to give General Bragg battle, he did so in confidence of a great success, or, to use General Thomas's own language, that he would use the rebels up. This assurance was shared by other officers. On September 10th General Cruft writes to his Division Commander, General John M. Palmer: ‘Have skirmished with two regiments of mine and one of Colonel Grose to a point, say 1 1/2 to 2 miles front of Benview, the bald place you see on the Hill from where I left you. The enemy had, say 200 cavalry, which charged my First Kentucky advanced guard after the cavalry of our left, and drove them in. Have driven them away constantly as I advanced. This can be continued ad infinitum.’ General Palmer seems to have been so well pleased with General Cruft's ad infinitum idea that on the 18th he placed him in command of a division, and I think it probable that if General P. furnished the Commander of the Fourteenth Corps a copy of Cruft's communication it may have inspired the proposition of General Thomas to General Palmer on the 19th. It may also have had something to do with General T.'s bull-dog tenacity on the 20th. General Thomas writes as follows:
headquarters Fourteenth army corps, near McDaniel's House, September 19th, 9 A. M., 1863.The rebels are reported in quite a heavy force between you and Alexander's Mill. If you advance as soon as possible on them in front while I attack them in flank I think we can use them up. Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General Commanding.