What I say about the President's advisers in connection with Order No. 8 is quoted from the report of the War Committee, and I find in the evidence that Burnside says it to them. I had no reference to any particular individual.
I was of your opinion with regard to the honesty and integrity of purpose of General Burnside until after his relief from the command of the Army of the Potomac. I lost all confidence in his ability at the first Fredericksburg battle. There was not a man in my command who did not believe that everything he would undertake would fail, and General Hooker informed me that that was the general feeling in his command. General Sumner's feelings were not so decided, but they were nearly so. You can imagine that the beds of the grand division commanders were not of roses, and I came to the conclusion that Burnside was fast losing his mind. So I looked upon the rain which stopped his second attempt to cross the river as almost a Providential interference in our behalf.
There was no half for the anomalous state of things, for I for one took it for granted that if Brunside's application for his own and the Secretary's and you dismissals did not produce his own he must be too firmly seated to be moved. Then, too, I left the greatest delicacy in speaking about him, and in two visits that I made to Washington took pains to keep entirely quiet.
Since his relief from the command, his course has been that of an insane person. His evidence given to the committee adopts a new theory for the loss of the battle of Fredericksburg, and the committee indorse is so far as I am concerned. They seemed to think it not worth much against Hooker, though Burnside's evidence is quite as directed against him.
With my thanks for the kind feeling shown in your letters, I am, respectfully, yours,
W. B. FRANKLIN.
YORK, PA., June 3, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: After the receipt of your first letter to me, I wrote General Smith to find from him what was his recollection of the facts connected with General Burnside's statements of his interview wit the President connected with the request for the removal of the Secretary of War and yourself, and of his subsequent letter. I have received a letter from him, a copy of which is on the other pages.
Very respectfully, yours,
W. B. FRANKLIN.
NEW YORK, May 29.
Major General WILLIAM B. FRANKLIN, York, Pa.:
DEAR FRANKLIN: Burnside referred to the matter of his letter to the President, asking that Stanton, Halleck, and himself should vacate their places, several times in my presence; but the first time in such detail that no new points were afterward developed. He said he had had a long conversation with the President, which resulted in his going back to the hotel and writing this letter, which he sent. In the letter he said he was sure Stanton and Halleck had not the confidence of the country, but of that the President could judge for himself; but the could assert