The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: April 1 - August 31, 1862 - Vol. 5

By John Y. Simon; Ulysses S. Grant | Go to book overview

Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel (New York, 1887), I, 607-10. Wallace began a letter to his wife on April 17 which he completed later. "The newspapers have several lies about me aside from the report of my death— some that do me no good in the public estimation, but which will eventually be put to rest. 1. They say I lost my way from Crump's Landing to the scene of battle, and got there too late. The fact is I recd the order to march at 11 :30 in the forenoon, and started immediately, having six miles to go. The road I selected would have carried me exactly to the right of our army where I was ordered. that is, the right as it was early Sunday morning. Every step was in hearing of the fight. After getting within two miles and a half of the place, I was overtaken by Capt. Rawlins, Gen. Grant's Ass't Adjt. Genl., who told me that our right had been beaten back clear to the river, and that if went on I would be landed two or three miles in rear of the enemy, and effectually cut off. This, you see, was official. Upon the strength of it, I countermarched and took another road close along the river bank, and this movement delayed me until nightfall. So I did not lose the road, nor make any mistake, as the liars say. 2. They also say I had 19000 men, one third of Grant's army. My whole force was nine regiments averaging about five hundred men, which, with my cavalry and artillery, made me near five thousand strong. With 19000 men I should have attacked the enemy's rear. 3. They also say that Gen Grant sent me a verbal order to come up, and that I refused to recognise it because it was not in writing. The truth is I started everything without any order at all. You can imagine how welcome anything having the semblance of an order would be. So the world goes—Lord how it is given to lying. Time will set everything right at last. It did so with the Donalson fight and will do so in this instance. I can afford to wait." ALS, Wallace Papers, InHi. In testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, July 9, 1862, Wallace stated that he had received no orders at all from those staff officers who arrived after Baxter (though he left unclear why they had come to him), and was also indirectly critical of USG's conduct of the second day of fighting at Shiloh. HRC, 37-3-108, III, 340-42. For a summary of the controversy, see Harold Lew Wallace, "Lew Wallace's March to Shiloh Revisited," Indiana Magazine of History, LIX, 1 (March, 1963), 19-30. See letter to Col. John C. Kelton, April 13 1863.


To Capt. Nathaniel H. McLean

Head Quarters Army of the Tennessee
Pittsburgh, April 25th 1862

CAPT N. H. MCLEAN
A A GENL DEPT OF THE MISS
CAPT

A note from Maj Gen.l Halleck just received states that his order of the 23d 1 for troops of my command to move on yesterday,

-70-

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