War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 1007 Chapter XXXIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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Washington, D. C., May 25, 1863.

Major-General FRANKLIN, York, Pa.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of your pamphlet on the battle of Fredericksburg. I do not feel called upon to express any opinion in regard to the matters of dispute between yourself and General Burnside. Of course, one or the other must be in error; but I presume the differences are such as often occur between honorable men, who both believe themselves to be in the right. There are, however, one or two statements in regard to myself to which I desire to call your attention.

You state positively that General Burnside made a "formal and earnest request to the President to remove the Secretary of War and General-in-Chief from the position severally occupied by them." If consistent with your own sense of propriety, I respectfully ask that you will give me your authority for this positive assertion on your part. I am induced to ask this from the fact that General Burnside was fully aware that I was placed in my present position against my own wishes; that I had taken every proper measure to avoid its responsibilities, and at that very time I was desirous of being relieved from these responsibilities. I say that General Burnside was personally fully aware of these facts. How, under such circumstances, he could request my removal is to me incomprehensible. Nevertheless, till your positive statement is explained or contradicted, it must be believed.

You seem to think that General Burnside's letter to me was drawn out of him for the purpose of removing responsibility from the shoulders of his superiors. In regard to this matter, I have only to say that the letter was published by permission of the President, after both the Secretary of War and myself had advised against its publication, and I had positively refused my assent. As I had advised against the Fredericksburg base from the beginning, and had abundant proofs of that fact, I required no statement of General Burnside in regard to my responsibility.

Again, in regard to General Burnside's order, or pretended order, No. 8, you are also under misapprehension. I have never seen that order. I learned from the President that an order had been presented to him by General Burnside dismissing several officers of his command for endeavoring to create dissatisfaction and insubordination in his army. I said immediately that if such was the case the commander in the field ought to be sustained. I did not then know, nor do i know now, the names of the officers charged with so high a military offense. Moreover, I have been told by good authority that the pretended order published in the newspapers is very different from the order shown the President.

In these, as in many other matters connected with the Army of the Potomac, the press has grossly misrepresented me; but time will place all these things in their true light.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


YORK, PA., May 27, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 25th instant. I am sure, from your statement that General Burnside did not make the "formal and carnest" request to remove the Secretary of War and yourself to which reference is made in my pamphlet, "Reply to the Committee on