War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0020 Chapter XXXIX. N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC.

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whatever was attached to you. Perhaps no blame should have been attributed to any one, but I inferred differently from your own reports and dispatches. In regard to the force then in Richmond, I derived my information from spies and prisoners of war.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Lookout Valley, Tenn.,

January 23, 1864.

Major General GEORGE G. MEADE

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

General: I find the following most extraordinary statement in the annual report of the General-in-Chief: Our force at Harper`s Ferry at this time was supposed to be about 11, 000. It was incorrectly represented to General Meade to be destitute of provisions, and that he must immediately supply it, or order the abandonment of the place. Accordingly, a few hours after he assumed the command, he assented to an order, drawn up by an officer of General Hooker`s staff, directing General French to send 7, 000 men of the garrison to Frederick, and with the remainder, estimated at 4, 000 to remove and escort the public property to Washington. This order, based on erroneous representations, was not known in Washington until too late to be countermanded. It was, however, not entirely executed when General Meade very judiciously directed the reoccupation of that important point. Although it does not mention me by name, it will be considered by the public that I was the officer alluded to, as I was, before your assuming command, serving as chief of staff to the army under General Hooker, and am now temporarily serving in that capacity with him, although at the time alluded to I was no more an officer of General Hooker`s staff than was Generals Williams, Hunt, Ingalls, or any of the officers serving on the general staff of that army. Under the presumption that he may allude to me, it is proper, before taking the steps I propose to in the matter, that I should ascertain whether the entirely erroneous statement made by the General-in-Chief in the premises is based upon anything he may have received from you officially or otherwise. You will certainly well remember that the garrison had an abundance of supplies, and it was so stated by me to you. You

will also remember that no order was drawn up until after we had conversed upon the subject, and you had directed the order to be draw; also that the grounds upon which I advised it were generally, first. that Lee`s army, to our then certain knowledge, numbered 91, 000 infantry, 12, 000 cavalry, and about 275 pieces of artillery; that without this garrison, and taking into consideration our rapid marches, we should be likely to fall short of that number of infantry; that your having an order which gave you control of that garrison would make you responsible, in the event of failure, for not making use of them; that in such an event they would in all probability be required to leave that post; that in the event of success they could be returned at once. You will also doubtless remember that the bringing on of the general battle at Gettysburg sooner than you expected, by Reynolds` collision with Hill, and the events that followed, prevented French reaching us in time, and it being determined that he could not reach