War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0495 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

What I have done in all cases has been done conscientiously and with an earnest to crush out the rebellion, promote the best interests of our country, and obey the orders of my superiors.

Many of the reports sent North have originated with speculators, cotton-buyers-traders who follow the army, and whom I will not allow to violate or evade orders and regulations with impunity.

Many of these men have been sorely disappointed in their expectations, and, in a spirit of revenge, are endeavoring to malign and misrepresent me.

Your letter, however, contains the first intimation I have heard that reports have been sent to the Secretary of War that I was neglecting my official duties, spending my time with ladies of "secesh" tendencies, &c. These reports I pronounce emphatically and unqualifiedly false.

I do not ask any one to take my word for it, but will let what my command has done, the esprit de corps, the spirit of emulation which is now actuating the different regiments to enlist as veteran volunteers, the health of the troops, and in fact everything relating to their welfare as soldiers, be the proof whether I am neglecting or unmindful of the responsible trust committed to my charge.

I have seen and made the acquaintance of the majority of the people of this county, besides hundreds of others from the adjoining counties, some of them coming 60 or 70 miles, and very many of them ladies.

My official position has rendered it necessary for me to see them. There was no one else to whom they could go to make known their grievances and obtain redress and some compensation for their losses, if they were deservinc.

The business on which they come is as various as the wants and desires of the human race. It is everything, from begging a small quantity of provisions to keep a poor woman and her children from starving, to carrying on plantations, trade, and cotton interests, and the policy to be pursued in restoring the State to the Union.

All this makes my position anything but a sinecure, and both General Grant and General Sherman know full well that I would rather be in the field at the head of a division than where I am.

I have treated the people of this country politely and civilly, and shall continue to do so at the risk of being dismissed as a "secesh," so long as they manifest a proper respect for the Federal authority.

I have sent some ladies out of the lines, and they all understand, both ladies and gentlemen, that while they remain within our lines they must conform to the rules and regulations which may be adopted.

They all know full well that they cannot abuse the President of the United States, the cause for which we are fighting, the Federal Army, or any general in it, on public grounds, and they have invariably been polite and respectful at my headquarters.

When the time comes-which I hope and believe, however, never will-that to be a soldier a man has to forget or overlook the claims of humanity, I do not want to be a soldier.

I shall do, as near as I know how, what is right without trying to conciliate or pander to the wishes of any particular class, and trust to time to make all things even.

When the last of the rebel prisoners in this place, those who had been confined in the hospitals, went out a few weeks ago, some of the rebel ladies were going to give them a party. I sent to the lady