War of the Rebellion: Serial 030 Page 0158 KY., MID. AND E. TENN. N. ALA,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,

Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 11, 1862

Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,

Commanding United States Forces, Nashville, Tenn.:

GENERAL: Your communication of the 4th instant, transmitted by General McCook on the 8th, together with an indorsed memorandum relating to a wounded Confederate soldier, have been received.

You complain that "a poor crippled Confederate soldier has presented himself within my (your) lines with your (my) pass, but without any provision for his wants, or any evidence that he is not a spy." You add also that "it appears to be at least an attempt, indirectly, to impose on us (you) the risk and burden of taking care of your (my) disabled men," and request an explanation.

It would be a sufficient answer to your charge to state, I have no knowledge of such a soldier, and have given no such pass, but the extraordinary tenor of your letter demands a more extended reply.

Had the facts as alleged occurred under flag, I can conceive the propriety of making them the subject of official remonstrance; but, as it is, the charges are gratuitous, and without the shadow of reason. If you complain that I gave the party a pass, even assuming it were so, I can see no ground of just complaint. My passes, unless accompanied by flag, are intended for my own pickets, not yours, and I claim the right to instruct them to permit individuals to pass, irrespective of class or condition, and regardless of object, whether going voluntarily or at my bidding. It is a question of internal police, for my consideration only. If your pickets admit the holder of such passes within your lines, it is a matter which concerns you, not me, and it is for you to determine their character, without attempting to hold me responsible, directly or indirectly. The frequency with which you send persons through my lines under flag, without evidence that they are not spies, renders your allusions on this subject particularly inappropriate.

In conclusion, I will add that the relations existing between us forbid such imputations upon my honor as are contained in your communication. They are discourteous and offensive, and cannot be tolerated in the future. I have chosen, in view of your previous courtesy, to respond on this occasion, but should any of similar character be hereafter forwarded, they will be returned unanswered.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG,

General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,

Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 11, 1862

Major-General W. S. ROSECRANS,

Commanding United States Forces, Nashville, Tenn.:

GENERAL: In your letter of the 4th instant you express your abhorrence of the system of harassing and arresting non-combatants. In a previous letter I have intimated my entire concurrence in these views, and nothing shall swerve me from the faithful observance of a policy which is dictated by every proper sentiment. I am credibly informed, however, that on the very day on which your communication was written, a number of citizens of Tennessee, charged only with political offenses or proclivities, were arrested and imprisoned in the penitentiary at Nashville. It is of little moment to me whether this was done by