previous next


That evening about sunset General Hood rode up to General Polk's headquarters, with Major General French, and, at his suggestion, General Johnston was asked to meet the three Lieutenant Generals at Polk's headquarters for the purpose of consulting that night on the situation. At the appointed hour Generals Johnston, Hood and Polk met at the latter's headquarters. General Hardee was not present, he not having been found in time, after dilligent search. General Hood arrived at the rendezvous, accompanied by General French, whose division rested upon his left in the line of battle. General Polk had not asked General French, who was of his corps, to be present at headquarters for the occasion, and General Hood's action in bringing him was altogether gratuitous. Upon arriving with French, General Hood excused his action by stating that he considered the situation so vital to himself and French that he had taken the liberty to ask General French to come with him to the conference. After awaiting General Hardee's arrival for a good while, Generals Johnston, Polk, and Hood retired to the rough cabin-house, where Polk had established his headquarters, and General French and the staff officers of the different generals remained outside beyond earshot.

It was past midnight when the meeting broke up, and the Generals stepped out and called their escorts and attending staff.

General Polk immediately instructed Major West to issue orders to his division generals to move as soon as guides would be furnished them. Captain Morris was ordered to procure these immediately. General Polk communicated detailed instructions, but appeared deeply absorbed. In silence everything was carried out, and the corps had taken up the march, and moved some distance before Major West was aware that the army was in retreat. He had been by the General's side, or close in the rear of him, from the moment of the termination of the conference, and the General had not spoken about it. Thus they had ridden a good while, the Major, respecting the General's silent mood, had not thought proper to inquire about the destination of the column. An officer of General Hardee's staff, Captain Thomas H. Hunt, was the first to inform Major West that the army was retreating, because General Polk, at the conference, had insisted that he could not hold his position in the line of battle selected by Johnston. Stung by this statement, Major West denied it emphatically, and, as his informant insisted on its correctness, Major West rode up to General Polk, and asked him where the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William Polk (10)
John B. Hood (6)
S. G. French (6)
Douglas West (5)
Joe Johnston (4)
Sidney Hardee (3)
Walter J. Morris (1)
Thomas H. Hunt (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: