Monday, September 30, 2013

September 25, 1863 (Sunday): Besieged

General John M. Palmer

HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, September 25, 1863.
Major-General PALMER,
Comdg. Second Division:
    GENERAL: The general commanding was pained when he learned this morning from the general commanding the army that soon after the picket firing commenced last evening there were many men seen to break to the rear, some reaching the city and secreting themselves. Such men, although receiving the pay and emoluments of United States soldiers, are not soldiers. This skulking and retreating at the sound of the enemy's guns will hereafter be severely punished.
     Division commanders will issue such orders and enforce such regulations as will at least arrest the individual guilty of such misdemeanor, and hold brigade commanders responsible for the detection and prevention of this great evil.
     By command of Major-General Crittenden:

     Captain and Assistant-General.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 30, Part 3, Page 854.

It is a good indication of the shattered nature of Rosecran's Army that Palmer's men would be seen to break under fire.  They had endured much of the worst fighting at Chickamauga and were probably suffering still from the strain of that battle, not to mention being under siege by the force which had shattered the Army and driven it from the field.  Palmer would become military governor of Kentucky, and later the elected governor of Illinois (and considered a possible presidential candidate).


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