never entertained a doubt,) though the task was a painful one, it was nevertheless imperative.
As an evidence of how scrupulous I was in carrying our my orders in respect to private property I refer you to the inclosed copies of dispatches which passed between the commanding officer at Pensacola and myself in reference to this subject.
In conclusion I ask leave respectfully to say that, from the tenor of this dispatch in reference to my official acts in evacuating Pensacola, I am constrained to believe that representations have been made by evil-minded, designing persons-with little regard for veracity and much less for the interest of our cause and country than their own-with the view of injuring me before I had an opportunity of placing myself and my actions properly before those to whom I am responsible. Though it is discouraging and disheartening to an officer whose highest aim has been to serve his country and merit the approbation of his superiors, I have yet the consolation to feel that I did my duty to the very best of my knowledge and ability, and only ask for an impartial hearing before punishment or censure is inflicted upon me. Knowing that the task of evacuating was a difficult and thankless one, I asked that an older and wiser officer might be assigned to it, but this was refused, and if the manner in which I have executed it has not given satisfaction, I can only say that it was not for want of effort on my part of the little army I had the honor to command.
With the hope that this communication may be received in the respectful spirit it is intended, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. M. JONES,
General JOHN H. FORNEY.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA,
May 25, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:
SIR: I have the honor respectfully to state that on assuming the command of the department at this point I found Colonel T. M. Jones in command of the Army of Pensacola. Knowing him to be an officer of discretion and capacity, and being myself heavily pressed with work, I did not think it necessary to be particular in giving him instructions; in fact I placed the greatest confidence in his integrity and judgment, and therefore did not interfere particular with his operations. I was well aware that he was better acquainted with what was necessary to be done at that point than I as he had long been stationed there.
If, therefore, any blame is to attach to him for what he did there, and I candidly think there should not, I feel that it should rest on me rather than on him, and if any one is to be punished for anything that occurred there let it fall on me, for if any one is guilty it is myself.
In conclusion I beg to be permitted to say I consider General Jones' conduct as highly creditable to him as an officer and a gentleman, and that be will receive praise instead of censure when his instructions and the difficulties by which he was surrounded are considered.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. H. FORNEY,