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[6] apparently prepared to defend his line; but when he listens to Hood's arguments he changes his mind and sustains Hood, and thus, with two of his corps commanders opposed to defending their lines, Johnston deemed it better to decline the impending battle.

Sixth—On page 110, in Hood's book, you will find the beginning of a letter from Captain W. J. Morris, General Polk's chief engineer, from which I will make some quotations, abbreviating them as much as possible. He says he arrived at Cassville station about 3.30 or 4 o'clock P. M. May 19, 1864. Colonel Gale was there to meet him and to tell him that General Polk wanted to see him as soon as he arrived. He had half a mile to go to Polk's quarters. Met General Polk at the door. He says it took him about half an hour to examine a map that Polk placed before him and make notes of the general's wishes, and fifteen minutes to ride from Polk's headquarters to the line that was reported to be enfiladed. When he left Polk's headquarters he thinks General Hood was there. It took him about two hours to examine the lines, angles, elevations and positions of the batteries of the enemy established on their line in front of Hood, and his opinions and conclusions were:

‘(1). That the right of the line of Polk's command could not be held. (2). That traverses would be of no avail, etc. (3). That it was extremely hazardous for General Polk to advance his line to make an attack upon the enemy while the batteries held the positions they then occupied.’

‘Having made the reconnoisance he returned to General Polk's headquarters just after dark. General Polk immediately sent for General Johnston. General Hood was at General Polk's.’

You will thus perceive that the conference to be held was determined on between Polk and Hood, before Morris made his report to Polk, because Hood was already there, for I rode with him to the ‘rendezvous.’

Seventh—On the 8th of May, 1874, General Hood wrote me a letter to know what I knew about the ‘vexed question’ of retiring from Cassville. He had forgotten that he had met me in the road; that he had invited me to ride with him to see General Johnston, or that I was at the conference. Said he ‘Only learned I was at the conference from Johnston's narrative,’ etc.

I answered his letter from New York, where I then was, from recollection, without reference to my diary. I have both his letter


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Leonidas Polk (14)
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