NOVEMBER 25, 1863
Respectfully referred by the President to the honorable Secretary of War.
The President sees no objection to granting General Hill's request.
G. W. C. LEE,
Colonel, and Aide-de-Camp.
RICHMOND, November 20, 1863.
Lieutenant General, D. H. HILL:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 13th instant, requesting that a court of inquiry may be ordered to investigate your conduct while connected with the Army of Tennessee, has been submitted to the Secretary of War. In reply, I am instructed to say that, after a careful consideration of the subject, there does not appear any adequate cause to justify an order for such court. No charges have been preferred by your commanding general or others against you, and no complaint even of your military conduct has been addressed to the Department. You have been simply relieved from duty at the request of the commanding general. Your own military experience will readily satisfy you that the relief of an officer from his command constitutes no ground for a court of inquiry, and to allow it to be such could not fail to be prejudicial to the service. Other considerations than those of military delinquency, such as contrariety of views, want of harmony, or the like, may have well induced such application. Indeed, with an officer of your past service and approved gallantry, military delinquency is a presumption not to be indulged by any one, and certainly not in the absence of all charge or complaint sanctioned by the Department. No injustice, therefore, is done you, as certainly no reflection on your well-earned military reputation is intended by the Department in declining, from general considerations for the interests of the service, to grant a court of inquiry on your application.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
CHARLOTTE, N. C.
November 25, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, C. S. A.:
I feel thankful for the kind manner in which my application for court of inquiry has been denied; still I must express the hope that the application will be reconsidered. All sorts of ignorant and foolish imputations will continue to be made till the matter is definitely settled.
The inclosed extract shows that one man believes, or affects to believe, that three hours were consumed in eating cooked rations
of beef and corn bread. Whether this matter be reconsidered or not, I will feel grateful to the Department for past kindness.
With great respect,
D. H. HILL.