HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
May 19, 1862.
Major General IRVIN McDOWELL,
Commanding U. S. Forces:
GENERAL: Your communication of 18th current was duly received.
I beg you will excuse me for troubling you further upon this subject. In my brief note of yesterday I omitted some delicate details of the case, supposing that the usages of civilization would guarantee to the widow of a fallen citizen a passport to the home of her kindred. It is, however, proper before you make a final disposition of the application that I should make you acquainted with facts which I think invite to it the sympathies of our humanity.
The lamented Scott was not connected with the military service of his country, but was, as I am informed, quietly residing on his farm, when he was called to unite with his neighbors of like status to defend their domiciles from the depredations of an unauthorized marauding party from your army. In a conflict with these assassins he cause I am sure such a warfare on nono-combatants would never receive your sanction to be punished it the facts have been correctly reported to me.
But to my immediate subject. By the death of her husband I learn that Mrs. Scott is left alone with her children, the family of their husband having fled from that section. She expects soon to give birth to a child, who will never be privileged to behold the manly form of its gifted, murdered father.
It is natural, general, that this gentle, refined, deeply bereaved lady would anxiously desirer to return to her native city, to receive the consolation and friendly offices of her family in the day of her deep tribulation.
I respectfully leave the case in your hands, adding an extract from a letter just received from her father:
"I received yesterday a few lines from my poor child, begging imploringly of relief."
I have not yet been able to communicate the arrangement proposed in your letter of yesterday to the family, but think I would be safe in saying it would be impracticable: First, because the important point with the afflicted lady is to be restored to her family, whilst in Fredericksburg she would be among strangers. Secondly, it would deem that her brother would not be allowed to return to his home through your lines, though I don't think you design that construction to be placed upon your letter.
This letter will be carries by one of my aides-de-camp, Captain Worthington.
I have the honor to be, general, your humble and obedient servant,
J. R. ANDERSON,
The witness stated that the reply to the communication just read is recorded in the same letter-book, and dated May 21, 1862, which reply the recorder read as follows:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
Opposite Fredericksburg, Va., May 21, 1862.
Brigadier General JOSEPH R. ANDERSON,
Commanding near Massaponax:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 19th instant. I am fully disposed to do whatever is in my power for the relief of the lady to whom you refer. If, as if understand, she is now near Warrenton, I will, if it should be agreeable to their and her family, have the general commanding near that place see that suitable transportation for her and her children-a separate car, if possible-is provided by railroad to Alexandria, and thence by steamboat and railroad to this place, and will see that she is sent in proper way hence to your headquarters. To insure this being done in a manner as little trying to the lady as possible, and to guard as far as may be against inconvenience other, I will send an officer of my personal staff to see that this is carries out, and to accompany her from Warrenton to your lines.
You cannot be more anxious than I am that this war should be conducted with the least amount of suffering to the innocent and the non-combatants. I know of few, if any, who labor as incessantly and untiringly to this end as I have done and am doing. I take some pleasure in the fact that the bitterest of the inhabitants of Fredericksburg are in candor constrained to admit the good conduct and discipline of the troops now with them.