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[368] degree justify the unwarrantable liberty he arrogated to himself in publishing such insinuations.

Whether or not the motives which induced Generals Brannan and Wood to disregard the rules of the army and of society, were desires for the benefit of the service and of the Government, and were prompted by sentiments of virtue, patriotism, and manly honor, I leave to the unbiassed opinion of the Court and of the world.

Why General Brannan should pause in his poetic description of military achievements on the field of Chickamauga, and become the voluntary censor of my conduct, unqualifiedly stating that which it was impossible, from his own personal observation, to know, is a painful inquiry; and his doing so establishes a dangerous precedent in the composition of official reports. The positiveness which characterizes his reference to me, demands some attention in these remarks.

General Brannan attaches much importance to a pledge he says I gave to protect his right and rear. This appears incredible to me; and it is plain to every one who comprehends the facts, elicited by the testimony taken before this Court, that at that moment my own right was being turned, and my own position so essentially endangered, as to induce pressing messages to General Rosecrans for immediate assistance. While such a pledge might indicate zeal and determination, it would not balk the purpose of the enemy without a proper representation of muskets.

General Brannan further states, that so far from holding his right, I carried off his first brigade. This is not reconcilable with his previous statement, namely: “With, however, the exception of the first brigade, which, being much exposed, broke with considerable disorder,” etc. As he speaks of having swung back his right flank to the rear half a mile, he is prudently silent as to the distance the first brigade swung back. I mean no disparagement to the brave men of that brigade, and its efficient commander.

It is strange, (perhaps I might use a stronger term,) if General Brannan had a brigade unoccupied, why he should ask for and take one of my regiments, reducing my then too small force. On this point there is much concurrent testimony.

Again, he speaks of a portion of General Granger's reserve corps “taking up the position which should have been occupied during the day by General Negley's division.” This would seem to be a bold reflection upon the Commanding General, for ordering General Negley's division elsewhere. However, it appears from his and other reports, that he was commanding “a large portion of General Negley's division,” and that the Twenty-first Ohio, of the same division, covered his retreat, losing three fourths of its strength.

General Brannan commanded in this battle the largest division in the army — the division once commanded by General Thomas. With that, and “portions of Palmer's and Negley's divisions,” he “maintained his ground with obstinacy,” “the troops evincing great gallantry and devotion until reenforced,” and “nothing could exceed the desperate determination with which the rebels endeavored to gain possession of this point, hurling entire divisions on his small force.” How long, then, would my seven hundred men have held at bay those “entire divisions” ?

General Brannan also refers to his failure to obtain ammunition, thus necessitating the use of the bayonet, as the only means of defence. Perhaps his ammunition was ordered to Chattanooga by higher authority, as was the case with mine.

It would be uncharitable for me to omit the allusion to the service of my old division, in this connection. It is sacredly due those heroic men who left over seven hundred of their number on that sanguinary field, that they should not suffer reproach from any fault of mine, or share in the envious calumnies bestowed upon me. To them I owe the honor and dignity of my position — but no disgrace. The bodies of the brave who slumber on the banks of the Chickamauga, as well as their bereaved friends at home, appeal against the base insinuation that the “bulk of the division retired intact.” True, the enemy counts not amongst his trophies the battle-begrimed, bullet-torn standards of the Second division; but remembers with grief its splendid discipline and glorious charges.

As to the aspersions cast against my personal deportment on the field, I have only to say that the evidence has awarded me higher honors in that respect, than even egotism would have asked.

I now proceed to consider briefly the intimation that I left the field early and unnecessarily on Sunday. The bearing of much explicit testimony on this point has doubtless arrested the attention of the Court, and relieves me from the task of doing more than describe my situation, and the circumstances influencing my judgment and controlling my actions.

Immediately after receiving and complying with an order directing me to take charge of and place the artillery upon the field, which virtually deprived me of the command of my division, already separated in consequence of the culpable delay of General Wood to relieve me as he was ordered to do, I was reliably informed that the extreme left of General Thomas's line, which was situated obliquely to my front and rear, was being driven back. I hastened to the threatened point, taking some artillery, and Sirwell's brigade, which was just arriving. I found the enemy in heavy force, lapping over the extreme left, pressing it back in a crotchet, which was about to be taken in reverse. I opened upon the advancing columns with artillery from a splendid position, checking the enemy's further approach upon that point. Information then reached me from the right and front, that they were threatened, and the artillery

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