War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0463 Chapter XLIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

hoping that the President will issue a proclamation of outlawry against them. Of one thing you may be certain, that I shall not issue any orders requiring the troops of this command to spare the monsters engaging in a transaction that renders the Sepoy a humane being and Nana-Sahib a clever gentleman. I send up by the same boat that takes this a duplicate to be telegraphed to General Sherman, in regard to the continued presence of Forrest in Tennessee, and of the repair of the railroad to Corinth. While with the force I have here I feel perfectly secure against any mounted force they may bring, I do not feel that I could venture to go in pursuit of Forrest without hazarding the city unless I have more force.

As soon as I learn more about matters, I shall again write you.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

C. C. WASHBURN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Nashville, Tenn., April 23, 1864.

General BURBRIDGE,

Commanding, Lousville, Ky.:

GENERAL: I have a series of papers from General Halleck which go to show a conspiracy on the part of mischievous men residing in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Canada for the purpose of destroying steam-boats and even cities. We cannot operate by military force against such devils, but we can shelter and protect steam-boat captains who resort to extraordinary measures to guard the property and lives in their charge against such villains. You may notify them that if they detect among their passengers or crew one or more whom they know to be engaged in such a scheme that they should be disposed of summarily, viz, drowned or killed on the spot. The only question is of proof, which should be as clear as possible. It is not war for individuals to burn steam-boats or supply them with coal or wood charged with gunpowder, and the laws of war do not apply to such people; therefore, I don't care to have our military prisons or courts encumbered with such cases.

The information on which this plot is inferred comes from the provost-marshal of Louisville and others, viz, Lieutenant Colonel J. R. Smith, commanding at Detroit. Two of the principal men engaged in the plot are named McRay and Jones, residing at Windsor, Canada West, who have recently passed through Louisville.

I think if the captains of the steam-boats are notified and sustained, they will more effectually counteract such a plot than we can do by any direct military interference.

I am, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Nashville, Tenn., April 23, 1864.

Major-General ROSECRANS,

Commanding Department of the Missouri:

GENERAL: I have from General Halleck a series of papers going to show a combination and conspiracy pervading the mischievous "to burn steam-boats and even cities in our country."