War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0958 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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of a place in the archives of the country, and my report of one of the most important military operations which has transpired in your whole department, and which was a complete vindication of myself and command from the unjust reports circulated by your personal staff, should have been lost among waste paper, and no effort made to obtain a copy until the call of Congress, I will not undertake to decide. About October 25 last, a citizen of Tennessee, calling himself Captain Blackburn, but who in reality was no officer at all, but had gathered up a few men and attached himself to the First Tennessee Cavalry, smarting, no doubt, under my denunciation of his disgraceful conduct in the presence of the enemy at Rheatown, prepared charges and specifications against me. These charges were not indorsed by the colonel of the regiment, but as they were against myself, I forwarded them, with the indorsement that they were "false and malicious, " and asked for an immediate investigation. About the same time, as I am informed, Lieutenant-Colonel [A. L.] Pridemore, commanding the Sixty-fourth Virginia Regiment, sent up charges against Brigadier General W. E. Jones. The charges against General Jones were of a far graver character than those against me, and yet the charges against him were dismissed, and those against me sent to Richmond. Now, there was no necessity of sending these charges to Richmond; you were competent to order a court yourself. I do not charge you with the design, but the effect of sending them to Richmond was to prejudice the Department against me, and keep me from command for more than four months. If I am mistaken in any of the facts of this long statement, I shall be as ready to make correction as I shall be happy to have removed from my mind a settled conviction that you have been prejudiced against me throughout the entire period of our official connection. I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,



[Inclosure No. 2.]

RICHMOND, VA., March 26, 1864.

Brigadier General JOHN S. WILLIAMS,

Provisional Army Confederate States:

GENERAL: I received on the 12th instant your letter of the 25th ultimo. I am sure that I can easily convince any impartial and un prejudiced mind that the acts you specify as indicating very clearly to you that I entertain unkind feelings toward you, do not, when explained, admit fairly of such an interpretation. But you have specified and elaborated so many points that I cannot explain them fully without seeming to desire to vindicate many of my official acts while in command of the Department of Western Virginia; and I have no desire or intention of entering on any such vindication of my course at this time. I will only say, therefore, that not one of the acts you mention, or any other of my official acts, was in any degree prompted by personal feelings of unkindness toward you.

Very respectfully and truly,