I reported to you by telegraph from Pittsburgh, and received in reply your order (see copy, B) "to return upon the expiration of my leave."
When I arrived at Nashville I received your telegram (see copy, C). I replied, stating that I had applied for a court of inquiry to the Secretary of War. On December 1 I addressed another letter to Mr. Stanton renewing my request. I have received no reply to either of [these] communications.
December 22 I received Special Orders, Numbers 26 (see copy marked D), which I returned with the information that I had applied for a Court of Inquiry. The language of the order was changed in that particular.
In reply to my letter from Cincinnati I received the communication (marked E) from the Adjutant-General's Office. The information that I belong to your command will, I hope, explain the occasion of this letter and appeal to your sense of justice.
The inference to be drawn from General Grant's Order, Numbers 26, and the semi-official reports which have reached my ears, intimate a reflection upon my self-respect and a want of proper regard for my military reputation. In view of the truth, this reflection does me great injustice.
Having presented my request to the Secretary of War with a clear understanding, it would certainly have been indelicate for me to exhibit any impatience respecting his decision until a reasonable time had elapsed.
The proceedings in this matter from the commencement have been painfully embarrassing to me.
I have not been furnished with a copy of the reflections made in the official reports referred to by General Rosecrans, to me, only verbally. I do not even know the precise language used.
These reflections appear to be gratuitous productions from officers my inferiors in rank (forming no portion of my command), with reference to circumstances which strongly indicate a desire to thus apologize for the conduct of themselves and their own troops.
At the same time the written statements of a greater number of equally reliable officers, who were personally observant and conversant with the facts, do not attach any blame to my official conduct.
Contemplating these facts, I feel at liberty to respectfully insist upon an early opportunity to vindicate my military reputation by a Court of Inquiry, an examination, and decision from the official reports now on file, or by assigning me to active duty.
I sincerely trust you may concur in my opinion, and if it is beyond your jurisdiction to grant my request, that you will immediately forward this paper to the President, with such indorsement as you may see proper to make upon it.
Soliciting a reply, at your convenience, informing me of the result of your conclusions, with considerations of personal respect, yours, very truly,
JAS. S. NEGLEY,
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 30, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: I am unofficially* informed that reflections have been expressed in certain official reports of the battle of Chickamauga
*Original in War Department does not contain the word "unofficially."