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[7] and my answer. General Hood and I had talked this matter over, at length, at the Alleghany Springs, Va., in the summer of 1872, differing, however, about not remaining at Cassville and the defensive strength of the lines.

Eighth—Without endeavoring to recall to mind pictures of scenes through the mist of thirty years in the past, or revive recollections of words used in the long, long ago, I will refer to my diary, and what was written day by day therein.

After we had formed line of battle east of Cassville, and manoeuvered with Hood with a view to attack the enemy, our troops began, in the afternoon, to fall back to a line of hills south of Cassville. Cockrell's brigade, that was in reserve, had been ordered to a hill there early. The diary says:

I received orders at 4 o'clock P. M. to fall back from the line east of Cassville and form behind the division of General Canty and Cockrell's brigade, which I did, as there was an interval between Hood's line (Hindman) and Canty, I placed there, in position, Hoskins' battery and the half of Ector's brigade. This left Sear's brigade and the half of Ector's in reserve, Cockrell being on Canty's left in line.

About 5 P. M. our pickets from the extreme front were driven in towards the second line by the enemy's cavalry. Hoskins' battery opened on them and checked the advance. About 5.30 P. M., the enemy got their batteries in position and opened fire on my line. One battery on my right enfiladed a part of my line.

The diary then refers to going to dinner, meeting Hood and riding with him over to General Polk's—leaving the conference, believing we would fight, etc.

Ninth—We are now, Mr. Editor, getting beyond conjecture, for we have determined certain facts pretty accurately, viz:

The hour I received the order to fall back from east of Cassville; the time our skirmishers were driven in, and when the firing commenced, also the hour that Captain Morris arrived.

Captain Morris declares that he arrived between half past 3 and 4 o'clock P. M. If he be correct I was at that time with my troops east of Cassville, and it is certain no report could have been made by me until after the enemy's artillery commenced firing. Now mark what is declared to have taken place after the alleged report was said to have been received by General Polk.

It would take an officer certainly fifteen minutes to ride from

Polk's headquarters to Hoskins' Battery—a mile and a half distant—


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