War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0140 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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[Inclosure Numbers 3.]


Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose the report of Colonel Lee, as received through Major-General Hamilton, and also a copy of letter signed C. S. Hamilton, brigadier-general.

The report is not completely satisfactory, and no further investigation has been made by General Hamilton. The complaints have never come to me. I am satisfied that the good of the service demands that Major-General Hamilton should be assigned to duty elsewhere. I would respectfully suggest that an exchange be effected by which General Prentiss may be detailed to this command and General Hamilton relieve him. My forbearance is nearly exhausted, and, if he remains here, I shall be compelled to put him in arrest, which I do not wish to do. I can get along with almost anybody who has not confidential correspondents in high places. In fact I do not know that I have any necessity for another major-general in these limits, and would prefer that they should earn their rank or dignify it in active service, and be relieved from the corruptions and dangers of such a place as Memphis.

Your obedient servant,


[Sub-Inclosure Numbers 1.]

LA GRANGE, March 20, 1863.


SIR: I have the honor to receive your instructions of 7th instant, in reference to Colonel Lee and the Seventh Kansas. I submit herewith the report of Colonel Lee, in reference to the Somerville masters. As regards the complaint of Mr. Rivers, you will see that Colonel Lee acted under orders in taking animals. I have in my possession a quartermaster's receipt for Mr. Rivers whenever I can communicate with him. It must be borne in mind that Colonel Lee was in command of a brigade of cavalry, and the Seventh Kansas was only a part of his command. I am well assured that Colonel Lee exerted himself to the utmost in repressing all disorders. That disorders occurred, and more or less plundering took place, cannot be denied, but I believe Colonel Lee did all that any man could have done under the peculiar circumstances to control his men. I am disposed to think the severe censure contained in General Grant's letter is unmerited, and arose from a misunderstanding of the nature of the trip and the peculiarities of the whole expedition.

I have had neither time nor opportunity to investigate the matter further than to require this report from Colonel Lee, and inquire of Mr. Rivers as to his complaint. He complains to me only of having lost two mules and a horse.

Colonel Lee is desirous of a full investigation into all matters charged against him in the letter of General Grant.

Your letter to me of the 7th instant seems unnecessarily harsh and peremptory as coming from a junior to a senior officer. You must be well aware that your appointment, as well as mine, as major-general, not having been confirmed, expired with the adjournment of Congress, leaving us both brigadiers, and as such I am your senior. I have not designed to avail myself of that change in our relative positions, being