War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0291 Chapter XXII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

trees; heard her own statement; assured her if the perpetrators could be found they should be punished; assembled all the officers of the brigade; addressed them in the sternest language I could employ, denouncing these outrages as disgraceful to humanity, and then ordered the specific search above alluded to. That search was made; not an article was found upon any soldier. The reports were signed by the officers, and they were placed by me in the hands of General Buell. It was impossible to arrest any officer or soldier against whom no specific charge could be made. But I never relaxed my efforts to learn the facts and to ferret out the guilty ones who were engaged in these terrible excesses. Not that I had any special sympathy with the citizens, for I believed they had led the enemy to the attack upon Athens, and when my troops were driven from town they were cursed, hooted, and spit upon. Two of their between the tender and the engine when the train was destroyed at Limestone Creek Bridge, was actually roasted alive, in the presence of barbarians, who swore they would kill the negroes who offered to cut away and rescue the unfortunate man.

The orders against pillaging and plundering, which I send you in the order of their date, I deemed it my duty to issue and to enforce, in order to preserve the discipline of my troops and to protect the innocent and the helpless.

These orders will show what earnest and continuous efforts were made to accomplish this object.

I now ask your attention to the second charge. I am accused of speculating in cotton and of using the Government train for my private purposes. I send you copies of communications addressed to yourself, to Secretary Chase, and to General Buell, announcing my plan with reference to opening the trade in cotton, and all these communications are dated prior to the selling of a single bale.

Here are the facts set forth in these very communications. I had more than a hundred miles of railway to protect; this was impossible without running my train. This could not be done without money. I begged you for money, and none could be immediately furnished. I had captured a fort built of cotton bales, driving the enemy before us, and preserving this very cotton from destruction by fire already kindled. With these cotton bales I built a bridge more than 300 feet long. Over this bridge I passed my infantry, artillery, and cavalry, and with this force captured Bridgeport. These same cotton bales were taken from the water and were sold for more than $20,000; every cent of which went into the Treasury of the United States and has been accounted for by my quartermaster. But to make this sale I must furnish transportation to the buyer. I had reported this fact to yourself and the Secretary of the Treasury. My quartermaster was directed to consult with judicious citizens, and to charge for the cotton was sold to a perfect stranger to me, a gentleman named Clark, who was first to reach the market. Failing to induce buyers to come to Huntsville, I had urged Mr. W. B. Hook, of New York, my son-in-law, to lay this matter before his friends, and to assure them that I would do everything in my power to aid them in case they would make the venture. He succeeded in inducing two persons to join him, and they reached Nashville; but unfortunately, on the 1st of May, one of these persons was captured at Pulaski by the guerrilla chief Col. John H. Morgan. He was finally released, and having witnessed the burning of cotton