An article in the Indianapolis Journal
recently purported to narrate the true account of the death of the Confederate Lieutenant-General Polk
Concerning its statement Mr. Winfield Peters
writes to the Sun
that ‘having in the year 1879 visited the field of operations along Kennesaw Mountain, Ga.
, and having located, after much effort, the spot where General Polk
fell, and informed myself as to the circumstances of his death, and having subsequently conferred with General Joseph E. Johnston
and Bishop Beckwith
, of Georgia
, who were present on the field and near General Polk
when he fell, he was able not only to correct the inaccuracies of the Journal
, but to set at rest any future dispute as to a remarkable historical occurrence of the late war. I determined to ask General Joseph E. Johnston
to write his account of it, and now have the pleasure to enclose his reply.’
In his letter to Mr. Peters
, which is dated Washington
, September 25th, General Johnston
I have seen lately what is purported to be an account of General Polk's death, probably that to which you refer, for it is an invention from beginning to end.
Bate's division, of Hardee's corps, occupied the summit of Pine Mount as an outpost.
As it was nearly a mile in front of our line, General Hardee thought it exposed, and I agreed to ride to it with him and decide the question on the ground.
General Polk joined us. We reached the hill directly from the rear and dismounted sixty or eighty yards from the summit.
On reaching it we found that the best view was from a little parapet some thirty or forty feet down the slope, and occupied it. The Federal line was in full view, and a field-battery three or four hundred yards in our front.
In a few minutes it was decided that the risk of holding the position was much greater than any advantage it could give us, and General Hardee was desired to withdraw his troops from it soon after nightfall.
As we were closing our field-glasses, preparatory to moving, a shot from the battery in front of us struck a tree, a little above our