In regard to your directions express in Special Orders, Numbers 116, and to your instructions, without date, received at the same time, both depriving me of the command left by General Foster and limiting it hereafter to that of one division, again referring to the direction of General Halleck, I will all nothing more than simply to assure you that no trial to which I may now be subjected will drive me from the purpose of serving my country, for which I have come a long distance with great personal inconvenience and sacrifice.
Considering it my duty, as required by the order of General Foster who left me in charge of all that he brought from North Carolina, I hereby respectfully refer you to the directions of General Halleck to General Hunter, indicated in the letters of the 15th and 16th ultimo, which required that the distinct "organization, both in men and material, will be retained, so that the corps can at any time be returned entire to its proper department, "and that" General Hunter will rescind so much of his orders as consolidates it which the Tenth Corps." and I would respectfully request that you would advise me of the intentions of General Hunter in regard to the above instructions, so far as they refer to the material, that I may report to General Foster in the premises. As now situated I am compelled to report to him that, by the orders within referred to, the organization of the detachment of the Eighteenth Corps, and none of it is under my control of orders except the Sector.
The medical director of General Hunter's department holds all the medical stores and refuses to runt them over to the acting medical director of the detachment, and your order me to revoke his appointment.
The commissary stores sent from North Carolina expressly for the detachment of the Eighteenth Corps are afloat, and I am order not to appoint a commissary of the detachment to receive them; all of which is in direct collision with my orders from General Foster, and does not harmonize with the direction of the President that "the organization, men and material," should not be disturbed.
Being second in command only to General Hunter and the senior officer commanding the forces from North Carolina, acting always under the general orders and instructions of General Hunter, I had hoped that I would have been permitted, without unnecessary restraints, to so command the forces left under my command as the more effectually to secure the great object of the Government for which we had been brought together.
In conclusion, colonel, assure the general for me that in again entering my protest I mean no disrespect, but am guided only by a solemn duty, which my position as the senior officer commanding the detachment of the Eighteenth Corps and my own self-respect demand of me. I shall pass over in silence the indications conveyed by the instructions and order referred to, and in the necessities of our common country smother feeling that under no other circumstances would I attempt to control. Assure the general that, regardless of all feelings in the movement now contemplated, I will serve in any capacity in which he may place me.
Very respectfully, &c.,
HENRY M. NAGLEE,