War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0044 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

obtain others by application here, and also made requisitions for funds, but received nothing whatever from any department of the Government, except money sent to my medical purveyor by the Surgeon-General.

Since my arrival here I have been permitted to refer to papers on file in the Adjutant-General's Department relating to my command and services. I find that my letter of June 9, 1862, was received on the 27th of the same month, and that it was submitted to and read by the late Secretary of War (Mr. Randolph). It bears an indorsement in pencil, signed with his initials, approving a request made in the last paragraph for the appointment of John H. Crump as quartermaster. That letter, in its first paragraph, states how I came to be in command of the Trans-Mississippi District, and refers to and inclose officially attested copies of the orders of General Beauregard, heretofore embodied in this report, assigning me to that command.

Two months after the receipt of that letter, to wit, on September 5, having been requested by the lower House of Congress to state by what authority I did certain acts as commanding general of the Trans-Mississippi District, the late Secretary replied as follows:

The Department has no official information of the conduct imputed to General Hindman; but having seen orders, purporting to come from him, declaring martial law and adopting oppressive police regulations in Arkansas, General Holmes has been instructed to inquire into it, and, if he found such to be the case, to rescind the declaration of martial law and the regulations adopted to carry it into effect. General Holmes is also instructed as to the mode of executing the conscript act. General Hindman was not sent to Arkansas by the department, and has never been commanding general of the Trans-Mississippi Department.

The last sentence of the above communication was construed west of the Mississippi River, and probably elsewhere, to mean that, on assuming command of the Trans-Mississippi District, I was guilty of imposture and usurpation. It seems to admit of that construction. Appearing as the official declaration of the Secretary of War, it injured, me, both as an officer and a man, not only among citizens, but with the troops serving under me. I could have published the facts and silenced slander at any moment, but was deterred from so doing by self-respect and regard for the usages of the service.

I addressed a letter to General Holmes, calling attention to the injustice done me, and it was duly forwarded by him and specially referred to in his accompanying communication dated October 3, 1862. No answer was ever received. My reputation continued to suffer and my influence to diminish under this undeserved blow from the Secretary of War, from which alone the opposition to me derived any weight or respectability. It eventuated in my application to be relieved from duty west of the Mississippi.

I think it but just to ask that this report, or so much thereof as will correct the error of the late Secretary, be communicated to Congress, and also that I have leave to publish the same.

The length of time and great number of important transactions covered by this report have extended it far beyond what I could wish. I shall therefore be compelled to defer to a supplementary report such mention as I should have been glad to make here of the officers to whom I was most indebted for assistance in the labors performed.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,



General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector-General.