War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0177 Chapter IX. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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November, which contains a request for an inquiry into the late campaign in Virginia, in which you commanded a part of the United States forces. Your letter did not reach me until my return to this city, and subsequent to the departure of Lieutenant-General Scott to Europe.

There appears to be no precedent in our service for an investigation or trial of an officer's conduct after he has received an honorable discharge. The inquiry you desire to have instituted would equally concern the late General-in-Chief, and as it appears to me, in justice to him, should not be made in his absence. The respect I have always entertained for you, as well as the friendly relations which have long existed between us, would claim for any personal request form you the most prompt and favorable attention; but in my public capacity, in the present condition of affairs, I cannot convince myself that my duty to the Government and to the country would justify me in acceding to your request. I must, therefore, reluctantly decline the appointment of a court of inquiry at this time.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War.

IN THE STATE OF THE UNITED STATES,

December 17, 1861.

Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested, if not incompatible with the public interest, to furnish the Senate with copies of the correspondence between Lieutenant-General Scott and Major-General Patterson, and with all orders from the former to the latter, from the 16th day of April, 1861, to the of July, inclusive.

Attest:

J. W. FORNEY, Secretary.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, December 24, 1861.

Honorable H. HAMLIN, President of the Senate:

SIR: In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 17th instant, I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of the Adjutant-General from which it will be perceived that it is not deemed compatible with the public interest at this time to furnish the correspondence between Generals Scott and Patterson, as called for.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. General 'S OFFICE,

Washington, December 23, 1861.

Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: In compliance with your instructions, I have the honor to report that, after due consideration, the General-in-Chief is of opinion it would be "incompatible with the public interest to furnish the Senate with copies of the correspondence between Lieutenant-General Scott and Major-General Patterson, and with all orders from the former to the latter from the 16th day of April, 1861, to the 23rd day of July, inclusive," at this time, as called for in the resolution of December 17, 1861.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

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