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10 Series I Volume XXXIX-II Serial 78 - Allatoona Part II

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Page 10 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

brothers in arms with them. Nor is it least among the credit due to the SIXTEENTH Army Corps that it furnished to Major General W. T. Sherman, then commanding the Fifteenth Corps, 970 wagons and teams and 7,000 new muskets, for without that transportation his march from Corinth to Chattanooga and from Chattanooga to Knoxville could not have been made in the time necessary for the relief of those points. Reduced by these heavy drafts, the slender residue of the SIXTEENTH Army Corps was, notwithstanding, expected to cover the line of the old District of WEST Tennessee, to protect the river, and to hold the immense depots and hospitals of Memphis. The cavalry DIVISION reduced, by exposure and constant duty (for their record shows constant and dashing work), by the furlough of veteran regiments and the absolute want of horses, to comparative inefficiency, the infantry not more than sufficient for garrison duty, rendered this command unequal to the task assigned it. They have lost no honor by not performing impossibilities. Every day now brings you additional strength, and soon the day will come when you will reckon with the enemy for this long-enforced delay. I shall not have the honor to command you when that day of reckoning comes. I trust you may be led by a better officer, but I shall rejoice in your success, for I know that you can do, will do, whatever the same number of troops can perform. I beg of you all to remember that whatever may happen to individuals, whether of praise or blame, of promotion or apparent censure, the cause survives, precious as ever, the nation remains enduring, eternal. Let no event of any nature make any officer swerve from the plain path of manifest duty, or vary one hair from the devotion he owes to the country of which all officers of all grades are only the temporary agents and servants. Settle the was first, crush out the rebellion, and then we shall all have time enough to quarrel over the respective merits and demerits of officers. In the general license which such a war as this creates, it is to be expected that libel and slander will follow all who are intrusted with important commands, and I do not expect to be, nor have I been, an exception to the common fate, but when all these have done their worst I know that slow but inevitable truth will overtake them, and that justice will at last be done to all. For such success as has happened in the administration of my widely scattered command, I confess myself largely indebted to the corps staff officers, and to the prompt and unwearying support I have constantly had from DIVISION commanders. These pleasant relations are now broken up, but their efficiency remains for such officer as the commander-in-chief may put in my place. For me nothing remains but to await with patience and fulfill with punctuality whatsoever may be ordered. Officers and men of the SIXTEENTH Army Corps, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

S. A. HURLBUT,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.


HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Clifton, Tenn., May 2, 1864.

Major General JAMES B. McPHERSON,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 28th ultimo,* sent by way of Athens and Florence, has just been received, 11 a. m.

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*See Vol. XXXII, Part III, p. 523.

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Page 10 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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