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roads-neither myself nor any of the staff officers “The General (Negley) had always been an having ever been in Chattanooga, or nearer to it active, energetic, and efficient commander, and than the battle-field.
displayed very good judgment in the affair of I was compelled to rely upon the guide of Widow Davis's house, in front of Stevens's Gap, General Rosecrans, who assured me there was where he was attacked by a superior force of the no other route we could take, and that the one enemy, and successfully extricated his train and we took led us toward Rossville. I expected to command from its perilous position." go by Rossville, or near enough to learn the situ- Also : “From a careful perusal of that (my reation of affairs there, until I met the troops of port) and the accompanying documents, (I lind) General Spears and found I was nearer Chatta- that he acted (at Chickamauga) according to his nooga than Rossville, and that General Rosecrans best judgment under the circumstances of the was still at the former place.
And I submit to the Court that without any But as General Wood, aided by several other order from him at all, if there was to be a to-general officers, labored assiduously to impair morrow to that day, it was my duty to see Gen- my military reputation, and thus my usefulness eral Rosecrans that day, and know his plans and in the army, I deemed it imperative, being also see the country nearer Chattanooga, where I had influenced by the friendly advice of General Roseno doubt the army must fall back; that this, too, crans and Thomas, to demand an investigation, was the superior duty for me if the troops I left as the only admitted and honorable means of behind were in competent hands. By the route vindicating myself. The application was considI took, no body of soldiers was found until I met erately complied with in the order convening this those of General Spears, within two (2) miles of Court. Chattanooga, marching to Rossville..
General Rosecrans also states in the letter reI did not, immediately after reporting to Gen- ferred to: “But an impression that he left the eral Rosecrans, return to Rossville, on which my field on Sunday, without orders or necessity, troops had been directed to march, because the having made its way through the army, and General ordered me to remain with him until he statements having appeared in the official reports should receive further information, when he of general officers seeming to support this imwould determine his course and give me orders. pression," etc.
When I left the field, it would have been easy The testimony and papers before the Court to follow impulse, and, notwithstanding the re- show conclusively that Generals Brannan and ports I had received, endeavor to reach the left. Wood, officers junior to me in rank and entirely It was the stronger with me, as one of my own independent of my command, were the authors divisions was there; but the path of duty, un- of these imputations, and that they used their der my conception of my orders, or in the ab- official report for otherwise unauthorized censures sence of any orders, was the same, and I felt which necessitated this investigation. Official compelled to follow it.
copies or extracts from these official reports were Respectfully submitted.
not furnished until submitted before this Court, A. McD. McCook, February eleventh, 1864. Nevertheless, true Major-General U. S. Volunteers. extracts from these reports appeared from time
to time in the public press, in direct violation of LOUISVILLE, Ky., February 22. the following order : Major-General Hunter, President Court of In
“ WAR DEPARTMENT, October 4, 1862. quiry: Sır: At Chattanooga, on the evening of Octo
“II. If any officer shali hereafter, without ber sixth, 1863, at a private interview, secured proper authority, permit the publication of any for me by a written request from General Thomas official letter or report, or allow any such docuto General Rosecrans, I was informed for the ment to pass into the hands of persons not aufirst time that the Department Commander was thorized to receive it, his name will be submitted dissatisfied with my official conduct at the battle to the President for dismissal.
This rule apof Chickamauga, on the twentieth of September, plies to all official letters and reports, written by 1863. At the same time, General Rosecrans re- an officer himself. ferred to statements made by Brigadier-Generals “By order of the Secretary of War. Brannan and Wood as the reasons for his un
"L. TOWNSEND, favorable opinions.
“Adjutant-General." In reply to my expression of pain and sur- The channels through which these extracts prise, that he should entertain such opinions were obtained may be plausibly conjectured, without my knowledge, or without giving me from the italicizing, and the purpose for which opportunity for explanation or defence, he re- they were used. The evidence further shows quested me to submit a supplementary report, that my most zealous, violent, and disrespectful with the written statements of officers whose accuser was General Wood; yet, as a sworn witnames I had mentioned, who were conversant ness before this Court, he not only failed to eswith the facts. This report occasioned General tablish the statement made in his report, but Rosecrans's letter to the Adjutant-General of could not mention a single instance where Genthe army, dated October fourteenth, 1863, in eral Negley had failed to do his duty in the batwhich he states :
tle of Chickamauga, or which would in the slight
DEFENCE OF GENERAL NEGLEY.
est degree justify the unwarrantable liberty he that, and “portions of Palmer's and Negley's arrogated to himself in publishing such insinua- divisions,” he "maintained his ground with tions.
obstinacy,” “the troops evincing great gallantry Whether or not the motives which induced and devotion until reënforced," and nothing Generals Brannan and Wood to disregard the could exceed the desperate determination with rules of the army and of society, were desires which the rebels endeavored to gain possession for the benefit of the service and of the Gov- of this point, hurling entire divisions on his small ernment, and were prompted by sentiments of force." How long, then, would my seven hunvirtue, patriotism, and manly honor, I leave to dred men have held at bay those“ entire divi. the unbiassed opinion of the Court and of the sions"? world.
General Brannan also refers to his failure to Why General Brannan should pause in his obtain ammunition, thus necessitating the use poetic description of military achievements on of the bayonet, as the only means of defence. the field of Chickamauga, and become the volun- Perhaps his ammunition was ordered to Chattary censor of my conduct, unqualifiedly stating tanooga by higher authority, as was the case that which it was impossible, from his own per- with mine. sonal observation, to know, is a painful inquiry ; It would be uncharitable for me to omit the and his doing so establishes a dangerous prece- allusion to the service of my old division, in dent in the composition of official reports. The this connection. It is sacredly due those heroic positiveness which characterizes his reference to men who left over seven hundred of their numme, demands some attention in these remarks. ber on that sanguinary field, that they should
General Brannan attaches much importance to not suffer reproach from any fault of mine, or a pledge he says I gave to protect his right and share in the envious calumnies bestowed upon
This appears incredible to me; and it is me. To them I owe the honor and dignity of plain to every one who comprehends the facts, my position-but no disgrace. The bodies of elicited by the testimony taken before this Court, the brave who slumber on the banks of the that at that moment my own right was being Chickamauga, as well as their bereaved friends at turned, and my own position so essentially en- home, appeal against the base insinuation that dangered, as to induce pressing messages to the "bulk of the division retired intact." True, General Rosecrans for immediate assistance. the enemy counts not amongst his trophies the While such a pledge might indicate zeal and battle-begrimed, bullet-torn standards of the Sedetermination, it would not balk the purpose of cond division; but remembers with grief its splenthe enemy without a proper representation of did discipline and glorious charges. muskets.
As to the aspersions cast against my personal General Brannan further states, that so far deportment on the field, I have only to say that from holding his right, I carried off his first the evidence has awarded me higher honors in brigade. This is not reconcilable with his pre- that respect, than even egotism would have vious statement, namely : “With, however, the asked. exception of the first brigade, which, being much I now proceed to consider briefly the intimaexposed, broke with considerable disorder," etc. tion that I left the field early and unnecessarily As he speaks of having swung back his right on Sunday. The bearing of much explicit testiflank to the rear half a mile, he is prudently mony on this point has doubtless arrested the silent as to the distance the first brigade swung attention of the Court, and relieves me from the back. I mean no disparagement to the brave task of doing more than describe my situation, men of that brigade, and its efficient commander. and the circumstances influencing my judgment
It is strange, (perhaps I might use a stronger and controlling my actions. term.) if General Brannan had a brigade unoc- Immediately after receiving and complying cupied, why he should ask for and take one of with an order directing me to take charge of my regiments, reducing my then too small force. and place the artillery upon the field, which On this point there is much concurrent testi- virtually deprived me of the command of my mony.
division, already separated in consequence of Again, he speaks of a portion of General Gran- the culpable delay of General Wood to relieve ger's reserve corps“ taking up the position which me as he was ordered to do, I was reliably inshould have been occupied during the day by formed that the extreme left of General Thomas's General Negley's division.” This would seem line, which was situated obliquely to my front to be a bold reflection upon the Commanding and rear, was being driven back. I hastened to General, for ordering General Negley's division the threatened point, taking some artillery, and elsewhere. However, it appears from his and Sirwell's brigade, which was just arriving. I other reports, that he was commanding “ a large found the enemy in heavy force
, lapping over portion of General Negley's division," and that the extreme left, pressing it back in a crotchet, the Twenty-first Ohio, of the same division, which was about to be taken in reverse. I covered his retreat, losing three fourths of its opened upon the advancing columns with arstrength.
tillery from a splendid position, checking the General Brannan commanded in this battle enemy's further approach upon that point. In: the largest division in the army—the division formation then reached me from the right and once commanded by General Thomas. With front, that they were threatened, and the ar.
tillery I had in position endangered. I imme- the enemy, who manifested an intention of cutdiately gave directions for the protection of the ting off our retreat along the only passable route, left, and passed quickly to the position to which the Dry Valley road. The artillery was becomI was assigned, by an order received per Cap- ing more scattered each moment, trying to es. tain Gaw, of General Thomas's staff. On the cape the falling shells. It now became a ques. way I met General Brannan, who urgently re- tion for me to decide, whether I should remain quested a regiment. I ordered to his support with my isolated command, and save it all if my largest regiment, the Twenty-first Ohio, possible, or endeavor to reach the left with my armed with revolving (five-chambered) muskets. infantry only, leaving the ambulances, filled with I found affairs in front assuming an alarming wounded, the stragglers, and the artillery, to incondition. The enemy was pushing heavy col- evitable capture. I was ignorant of the conumns through the gap in our line, caused by dition of the troops upon my left, who might, General Wood's hasty abandonment of his posi- for aught I knew to the contrary, he in full tion. Remaining portions of the line swung retreat upon the La Fayette and Rossville road. back like a gate before the wind. The troops Indications, and the general impression, were from the right, who rested back against the that such was the fact; and, indeed, it would ridge in echelon, pushed forward with intre have been the case had not the approaching pidity to recover the lost ground, but were taken column (unknown to me) of General Granger's in flank, and crumbled into flying fragments. corps prevented. My decision was to remain My situation was desperate. My effective bat- with my special command, until relieved by the teries were fast exhausting their ammunition. same (or higher) authority which had assigned I had sent, on the first view, two aids to Gen- me to it. I withdrew until I reached McFareral Rosecrans, to describe my situation, and ask land's house, in the first open ground on the immediate reēnforcements. At the same time I natural line of communication with Rossville, ordered up the remainder of the Third brigade, where I halted, induced to do so by the fact that which was not then engaged. Lieutenant Moody it was the termination of a long and narrow returned through a shower of bullets, expressing defile, which could be held by a small force surprise at finding me still on the ridge, and re- against the enemy, who were reported to be adported General Rosecrans's reply: " Tell Negley vancing. It is a reasonable presumption that a it is too late; I cannot help him.” The regi- knowledge on the part of the enemy; of the asment of stragglers on my left had vanished; sembling of our scattered forces at McFarland's those upon my right were disappearing in the farm, checked his further pursuit. dense woods, their speed redoubled by the far- I now learned, for the first time, from a cavreaching shells; and the exultant yells of the alryman, that General Thomas was holding the enemy, whose closely planted batteries and long enemy in check upon the left, and as it would lines of musketry were sweeping the ridge with require time to organize the troops and clear the an appalling fire, were ringing in my ears. Yet gap, I turned over the command to General the batteries of Schultz, Marshall, and one of Davis, and hastened back to find General ThoParrott guns, were heroically hurling death mas, if possible, and report for orders. Meeting into the enemy's ranks, at such short-range, General Sheridan entering the defile from the that the smoke from the guns of both contend. west side, with a considerable boily of troops, I ing hosts mingled together.
suggested the propriety of moving what I thought Contemplate my position, if it is possible to was his division, to the support of General Thodo so here, removed from the scene of action. mas. lle replied that it was his intention to No human eye could penetrate the dark woods proceed to Rossville. I passed on, and soon met to the left, where General Thomas, with the the enemy, who prevented my further advance. flower of the army, was struggling against the I then returned to McFarland's, and held coninspirited enemy. To seek succor from that sultation with Generals Sheridan and Davis, and quarter was hopeless. None could be expected officers of General Rosecrans's staff. It was from General Brannan, as he had just applied unanimously agreed, that General Davis should for and received assistance from me. Tidings of remain and hold the Gap ; General Sheridan to defeat came from the right; the enemy was glid- pass through Rossville, toward General Thomas's ing up the ravine to the left, and almost seizing left; while I should proceed to Rossville, with the guns in action. All was now agonizing the debris of the army, organize the scattered doubt and irremediable confusion. It was now, troops, and be prepared to support either colin my judgment, time to retire. To continue an About this time, a despatch arrived from unequal contest, could only add more graves to Captain Hill, of General Rosecrans's staff, stating the battle-field, and give more trophies to the that Forrest's cavalry was on the Ringgold and enemy. A proper realization of the situation, Rossville road, in General Thomas's rear. In and a just regard for the lives and materiel of view of this new danger, I marched expeditiouswar intrusted to my care, urged the speedy ly to Rossville, and prepared to hold it. This withdrawal of my few troops and considerable entire movement was only an anticipation of the artillery. The latter was moved to the second order received from General Rosecrans, then at ridge, at which point a portion of the Third bri- Chattanooga, sent by telegraph at seven P.'. gade had just arrived. The ground was unfavor- The great advantage of this effective organizaable-a dense forest covered the movements of Ition and disposition of troops, who otherwise
Vol. VIII.-Doc. 24
GENERAL BANKS'S ORDERS.
would not have halted short of Chattanooga, can my thanks for the patient courtesy and imparscarcely be estimated ; and its importance in a tiality which enabled me to place the facts contactical point of view, must be apparent to every nected with my official conduct at the battle of experienced military mind. Had the two roads Chickamauga, so fully before you. converging at Rossville been relinquished to or
JAMES S. NEGLEY, seized by the enemy, it would in probability
Major-General U. & V. have sealed the fate of General Thomas's command, which was compelled to fall back that
Doc. 72. night for supplies. The influence my action exerted over subsequent events, may be designated
ORDER FOR A DRAFT, in history as an accident, but it was one of those military accidents which restored order with
MARCH TENTH, 1864. equilibrium, changed the front of a defeated
EXECUTIVE MANSION, army, and according to the testimony of General
WASHINGTON, February 1, 1864. Rosecrans and others, unquestionably saved Chat
Ordered, That a draft for five hundred thoutanooga. Public opinion estimates the ability of sand men, to serve for three years or during the a general by results. The value and importance war, be made on the tenth day of March next, for of my official action, from the moment I was as- the military service of the United States—creditsigned to the command of the artillery (without ing and deducting therefrom so many as may have referring to the “handsome” operation of my been enlisted or drafted into the service prior to command on the nineteenth September) until the first day of March, and not heretofore credthe close of the twenty-first, is not, in view of ited
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. the testimony taken before the Court, open to controversy. The saving of fifty pieces of artillery is in itself significant. I beg of you to ob
Doc. 73. serve, in this connection, that I possessed no
LABOR IN LOUISIANA. knowledge of the topography of the country or of the disposition of the troops, beyond an imperfect view from the position I occupied. The
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE Grup, intelligence I had of the disaster, was de
NEW ORLEANS, February 3, 1861.
} rived from statements of officers passing to the General Orders, No. 23 : rear. A strong impression was naturally made The following general regulations are publishupon my mind by General Rosecrans's significanted for the information and government of all inreply to my application for aid, and by the infor- terested in the subject of compensated plantation mation that he, with two of his corps command labor, public or private, during the present year, ers, had gone toward Chattanooga. If the De- and in continuation of the system established partment Commander, with a large retinue of January thirtieth, 1863 : staff-officers, corps of engineers and a cavalry I. The enlistment of soldiers from plantations escort, failed, as he admits, to correctly compre- under cultivation in this department, having hend under the circumstances the situation at been suspended by order of the Government, noon, how was it possible, with my very limited will not be resumed except upon direction of the facilities, and almost enveloped by the cnemy, same high authority. for me to know the facts at one P.M. ?
II, The Provost-Marshal General is instructed Military history proves beyond contradiction to provide for the division of parishes into police that no single battle, no matter what may be its and school districts, and to organize from invalid magnitude or results, is a positive or even fair soldiers a competent police for the preservation test of the ability of a commander. The fear of of order. public opinion, after a disastrous battle, betrays III. Provision will be made for the establishmany oflicers, sometimes high in command, to ment of a sufficient number of schools, one at deny even their unavoidable mistakes, to direct least for each of the police and school districts, attention to the errors of brother officers, to for the instruction of colored children under claim honors undeserved, laurels never won, and twelve years of age, which, when established, by a skilsul use of the pen exaggerate the simple will be placed under the direction of the Superperformance of duty into a great achievement. intendent of Public Education. If I know my own purposes in life, I seek no IV. Soldiers will not be allowed to visit planhonor by such unsoldierly pretexts, and scorn tations without the written consent of the comsuch means of vindication. As this investigation manding officer of the regiment or post to which refers to but a single battle, it would be unbe- they are attached, and never with arms, except coming in me to refer to my previous services and when on duty, and accompanied by an officer. the many assurances of contidence and appreci- V. Plantation bands will not be allowed to ation won from my superior officers on other pass from one place to another except under fields. The testimony before you pays a higher such regulations as may be established by the tribute to my fidelity to country, my skill, en provost-marshal of the parish. ergy, and fortitude as a commander, than I could VI. Flogging and other cruel or unusual punclaim for myself. Therefore I respectfully sub- ishments are interdicted. mit the case to the Court, desiring only to add VII. Planters will be require as early as
practicable after the publication of these regula- First and second-class hands, with families, one tions, to make a roll of persons employed upon acre each. their estates, and to transmit the saine to the First and second-class hands, without families, provost-marshal of the parish. In the employ- one half-acre each. ment of hands, the unity of families will be se- Second and third-class hands, with families, cured as far as possible.
one half-acre each. VIII. All questions between the employer and Second and third-class hands, without families, the employed, until other tribunals are estab- one quarter-acre each. lished, will be decided by the provost-marshal of To be increased for good conduct, at the disthe parish.
cretion of the employer. The encouragement of IX. Sick and disabled persons will be provid- independent industry will strengthen all the aded for upon the plantations to which they belong, vantages which capital derives froin labor and except such as may be received in establishments enable the laborer to take care of himself and provided for them by the Government, of which prepare for the time when he can render so much one will be established at Algiers and one at labor for so much money, which is the great end Baton Rouge.
to be attained. No exemption will be made in X. The unauthorized purchase of clothing, or this apportionment, except upon imperative other property, from laborers, will be punished reasons, and it is desirable that for good conby fine and imprisonment. The sale of whisky duct the quantity be increased until faithful or other intoxicating drinks, to them, or to other hands can be allowed to cultivate extensive tracts, persons, except under regulations established by returning to the owner an equivalent of product the Provost-Narshal General, will be followed by for rent of soil. the severest punishment.
XV. To protect the laborer from possible imXI. The possession of arms, or concealed or position, no commutation of his supplies will be dangerous weapons, without authority, will be allowed, except in clothing, which may be compunished by fine and imprisonment.
muted at the rate of three dollars per month for XII. Laborers shall render to their employer, first-class hands, and in similar proportion for between daylight and dark, ten hours in summer other classes. The crops will stand pledged, and nine hours in winter, of respectful, honest, wherever found, for the wages of labor. faithful labor, and receive therefor, in addition XVI. It is advised, as far as practicable, that to just treatment, healthy rations, comfortable employers provide for the current wants of their clothing, quarters, fuel, medical attendance, and hands, by perquisites for extra labor, or by apinstruction for children, wages per month as fol- propriation of land for share cultivation, to dislows, payment of one half of which, at least, courage monthly payments so far as it can be shall be reserved until the end of the year : done without discontent, and to reserve till the For first-class hands, . $8 per month.
full harvest the yearly wages. For second-class hands,.. 6 per month. XVII. A Free Labor Bank will be established For third-class hands,.. 5
month. for the safe deposit of all accumulations of wages For fourth-class hands, . . 3 per month. and other savings; and in order to avoid a possiEngineers and foremen, when faithful in the ble wrong to depositors, by official defalcation, discharge of their duties, will be paid two dol- authority will be asked to connect the bank with lars per month extra. This schedule of wages the Treasury of the United States in this demay be commuted by consent of both parties, at partment. the rate of one fourteenth part of the net pro- XVIII. The transportation of negro families ceeds of the crop, to be determined and paid at to other countries will not be approved. All prothe end of the year. Wages will be deducted in positions for this privilege have been declined, case of sickness, and rations, also, when sick- and application has been made to other departness is feigned. Indolence, insolence, disobedi- ments for surplus negro families in this departence of orders, and crime will be suppressed by ment. forfeiture of pay, and such punishments as are XIX. The last year's experience shows that provided for similar offences by Army Regula- the planter and the negro comprehend the revotions. Sunday work will be avoided when prac-lution. The overseer having little interest in ticable, but when necessary will be considered as capital and less sympathy with labor, dislikes extra labor, and paid at the rates specified herein. the trouble of thinking, and discredits the no
XIII. Laborers will be permitted to choose tion that any thing new has occurred. He is a their employers, but when the agreement is relic of the past and adheres to its customs. His made, they will be held to their engagement for stubborn refusal to comprehend the condition of the year, under the protection of the Govern- things occasioned most of the embarrassments ment. In cases of attempted imposition, by of the past year. Where such incomprehension feiguing sickness, or stubborn refusal of duty, is chronic, reduced wages, diminished rations, they will be turned over to the provost-marshal and the mild punishments imposed by the army of the parish, for labor upon the public works, and navy will do good. without pay.
XX. These regulations are based upon the XIV. Laborers will be permitted to cultivate assumption that labor is a public duty, and idle. land on private account, as herein specified, as ness and vagrancy a crime. No civil or military follows:
officer of the Government is exempt from the