on the road to market, he was satisfied that the cotton trade was too hazardous, and returned to New York.
Thus you will perceive that all the cotton I had captured was sold to persons of whom I had no knowledge previously, and Mr. Hook never reached Huntsville, to carry out his original intention, for six weeks after these transactions, and when the market was already crowded with buyers.
I affirm in the most solemn manner that I never derived, directly or indirectly, one particle of personal pecuniary advantage from any of the transactions in cotton.
I trust that my former character is a sufficient guarantee to yourself and my countrymen that I am perfectly incapable of doing anything to the injury of the Government and to my private advantage.
The positions in which I have been placed and the duties which have devolved upon me as a commanding officer have been responsible and arduous, but never for a moment have I halted or hesitated. I have done my very utmost to discharge my duties faithfully and honestly, and it is with proud satisfaction that I now declare that since I have been in the service of the United States my head has never rested at night upon my pillow with one solitary particle of the day's duty unperformed. Each day brought its new duties and responsibilities, but no fragments of those of the former day remained to be gathered up. I have assurances that I have theretofore enjoyed the confidence of yourself, of the President, and of my countrymen.
I am guiltless of anything which should in the smallest degree diminish that confidence and here I rest my case.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. M. MITCHELL,
Major-General, U. S. Army.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION,
No. 81. Camp Andrew Jackson, March 15, 1862.
All plundering or pillaging or depredation upon property of any kind is strictly prohibited.
To secure as perfectly as possible the execution of this order, the brigade commanders will order their regimental commanders to hold their company officers responsible for the conduct of their men at all times.
To this end each company officer will take charge of a certain number of men, whose names will be furnished him, the company to be divided among the captain and his lieutenants.
In case improper conduct is charged upon soldiers, the commissioned officers under whose care they are placed will be held equally responsible with the men, and must show that he used all diligence to restrain his men, or he will be held subject to arrest and trial.
Brigade commanders will report that copies have been furnished to the company officers through the regimental commanders and that the organization is complete.
By order of Brig. Gen. O. M. Mitchel, commanding:
W. P. PRENTICE,