Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/470
458 Southern Historical Society Papers.
brigades, and even had they been on the main road troops and wagons could easily have passed them. Again, Bragg was to assemble his corps at Monterey, a point some miles from Corinth, to the northeast. This compelled him to use roads running from Corinth to the right of Polk.
From this it will be seen that on August 3d, Polk could not have been in a position to impede the march of either Hardee or Bragg. We take it for granted then, that the writer's real charge is to be found in the first portion of the paragraph quoted where it is implied, that the army was delayed because the head of the column, Polk, did not move, he awaiting the written order. By reference to the paragraph preceding that quoted, it seems that there was no need for him to await the order in writing, as it had already been given verbally, and presumably with care. The written order was to differ in no way from the verbal, but was merely for the better guidance of the com- mands. Now it so happens that the very order in question, the copy sent General Polk on April 3d, 1862, is before me, (it is the same as is to be found on pages 188, 189 and 160, first series, Official Reports of Battles, C. S. A.) Reference to it shows that Bragg was to move from Corinth, by way of Monterey; Hardee was to move by a separate road to the left, called the Ridge road ; and Polk, with his one division, was to follow him, in fact was to form the rear of the column. Bragg and Hardee could not then have been waiting for Polk to move. From this it will be seen that no matter which may be the writer's charge, he is essentially wrong.
In a subsequent paragraph he goes on to say, " even the next day," the 4th, "there was inexplicable delay in the movements, not only of Polk's corps, but of Bragg's also, so that on the night of the 4th of April, the Confederate forces were assembled no farther in advance than at and around Monterey." Here again the writer falls into error. It is true that on that night General Bragg's corps was but a short dis- tance from Monterey, but Hardee was at and beyond Mickey's, the point at which he was due, while Polk, well closed up, was within a quarter of a mile of Mickey's, immediately in Hardee's rear, his proper place. For the accuracy of these statements, I refer you to the reports of these corps commanders, but especially to those of Hardee and Polk.
While upon this subject permit me to enter more freely into this question of the delay in reaching Shiloh. In order to do so properly, I will quote from memoranda prepared some time ago, for a forth- coming " Memoir of Leonidas Polk."