Today in History:

64 Series I Volume XVI-I Serial 22 - Morgan's First Kentucky Raid, Perryville Campaign Part I

Page 64 KY., M. AND E.TENN., N.ALA., AND SW.VA. Chapter XXVIII.

seem to indicate ignorance of the topography of the country and of the facts concerning the retreat. There is ground in the evidence for the belief that Bragg's retreat was decided upon on the 12th of October in opposition to the views of a majority of his commanders and the sentiment of his army. There is a mass of facts in evidence and of public notoriety to show that his determination to avoid battle and retire from the State was suddenly adopted. The failure of the Commission impression as to the dispositions the circumstances required me to make. The subject is treated as though Bragg's army was a disorganized rabble, which it was only necessary to surround with a line of skirmishers to capture. The evidence does not-

establish that General Buell received information on the night of the 11th that Bragg had crossed the river at Camp Dick Robinson-

nor that "he made no determined movement with the main body of his army until the night of the 13th." The statement that from the morning of the 9th until the night of the 11th I waited to learn whether my enemy would cross the river is unfit to appear in an official report; and the further statement that, that fact being definitely known, I lost two days before taking any decisive action, is contrary to the evidence, as is also the statement that finally, on the night of the 13th, I started Crittenden's corps through Danville-for it was there already. This statement, taken in connection with other remarks, would convey the false impression that that corps, in fact the main body of my army, was still at Perryville.

It is thus that the Commission explains "the escape of the rebels from KentuckyJanuary

In the review which I prepared of the evidence taken by the Commission I made a different statement and explanation of the incidents of that campaign. I hope it is a more intelligent one. I know it is more in accordance with the facts, and it may not be inappropriate to insert it here. After describing the operations about Munfordville and the close movement after Bragg's army until it turned off toward Bardstown the statement proceeds:*

* * * * * * *

The Commission states that it made its sixth "point' to cover the question of my "loyalty." I certainly made no defense of my loyalty, nor did I know that it was under investigation, though I did not fail to observe that evidence was elicited of the scandalous remarks that had been made concerning it by some persons, one of them a member of the Commission. I shall not cavil at the brief announcement that against my loyalty "there is no evidence worthy considerationJanuary

My policy toward "the inhabitants of disaffected districts" was also brought under the sixth "point," and the Commission concludes that-

Whether good or bad in its effects, General Buell deserves neither blame nor applause for it, because it was at that time supposed to be the policy of the Government. At least he could violate no orders upon the subject, because there were none.

I am not disposed to take exception to this opinion, though I dissent from it. If an officer faithfully does what the policy of his Government makes a duty, in my opinion he deserves approbation; and if, without any such obligation, he elects to do what he is at liberty to do or omit, then he deserves approbation or blame accordingly as his acts are good


*General Buell here quotes from "many considerations rendered it proper," &c., p.48, to "they usually triumph," on p.57.


Page 64 KY., M. AND E.TENN., N.ALA., AND SW.VA. Chapter XXVIII.