the Conduct of the War," and my assertion should have been that General Burnside said that he made the request. The facts are these: General Burnside was in Washington on our about January 1, last. He returned to camp, and soon after his return informed me, I think in the presence of General Smith and perhaps others, that he had seen the President, and had verbally recommended to him to acceptance of his resignation and the removal of the Secretary of War and yourself. The President, however, refused to entertain the suggestion, and the next interview that General Burnside had with him was in the presence of the Secretary of War and yourself. Between the first and second interviews, he had reduced to writing the proposition which he had made in the first interview, and read to the President a letter to him, in which he tendered his own resignation, and proposed the vacation of the Secretary of War's and your position, for the reason that all three of you had lost the confidence of the people. This is the substance of the story as I heard it from him just after his return to camp. On one occasion, just before his last attempt to cross the Rappahannock, I was in his tent, with Generals Smith, Woodbury, Hunt, and Captain Comstock, Corps of Engineers, when I said to him in substance, "You yourself recommended to the President the removal of the Secretary of War and General Halleck." He did not deny it; in fact, he acknowledge that he had so recommended.
There is nothing in my pamphlet, nor have I said anything, which will justify the assertion that I "think General Burnside's letter to me (you) was drawn out of him" for any purpose. On the contrary, I know that before he wrote it he expressed his intention of writing it to several persons, myself the number, and the reason he gave for this intention was that he might disabuse the minds of the people as to who was responsible for the battle of Fredericksburg. He intended the letter for publication, I know, and was incited to write it by the newspaper articles, which threw the blame upon the administration. I never had, nor ever expressed, and idea that the letter in question was drawn out of General Burnside by any person, or for any purpose, but have always known that the dictates of his own mind led him to write it.
I do not think that I have ever asserted or even thought that you had seen Order No. 8. I have looked over my pamphlet carefully, and find no sentence that will bear the construction that I thought you had seen it. I received all of the information in my possession concerning it from officers who saw it in General Hooker's hands, and the names in the pretended order, as published, agree in all respects with those reported to me as present in General Hooker's copy. The pamphlet was, however, written before the publication of the order in the Herald.
It was not my intention in the pamphlet to refer to any persons except the Committee on the Conduct of the War and General Burnside. I am sorry that my confidence in General Burnside's honesty led me to assert that he had requested the removal of the Secretary of War and yourself, and I can only account for his numerous mistakes upon the hypothesis that he is crazy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. B. FRANKLIN.
PRIVATE AND PERSONAL.] HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, May 29, 1863.
Major-General FRANKLIN, York, Pa.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 27th is received, and I thank you for your frank reply to my inquiry.