War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0222 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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That act authorizes the President, on the recommendation of any general commanding a department or army, to discharge from service any officer of C. S. Army, &c., or who is incompetent, &c., provided that any officer who may be so discharged, &c., shall be entitled to trial before an examining board, &c. Now, Brigadier-General Baton was not so discharged, but only relived from duty and ordered to report to General Bragg by General Ransom, who recommends that his case shall be investigated by a court of inquiry.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

RICHMOND, May 20, 1864.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

GENERAL: Will you permit me to call your attention again to the fact that I have been relived from my command, and to ask why? I was relieved under circumstances implying the gravest charges against my character as a soldier, and as yet have had no intimation of their nature; nor can my conduct suggest to me any cause. A day's absence from service now may be of irreparable injury to me, and were it voluntary, a disgrace. I must run the risk of appearing importunate in order that I may be relieved of the imputation that mu situation entails. I beg that I be informed whether any allegations have been made against me by any one to lead to my being relieved from my command, and what they are; whether a petition from the regimental commanders of my brigade for my restoration has been received, and, if so, that I be furnished with copies of any indorsement thereon. In short, I most urgently and earnestly ask that I may be informed of what I am accused, and insist that I may be heard before action thereupon be had by the Department.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

S. M. BARTON,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF RICHMOND,

May 21, 1864.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

I have just seen a report of Brigadier-General Barton made to you of the operations of his brigade on the 10th instant. For what I deemed sufficient reasons, I relived him from command under the authority of law. That no injustice may be done I respectfully request that Brigadier-General Barton be allowed full time and opportunity for a thorough investigation of his conduct. I consider that he has violated orders in making his report directly to the Adjutant and Inspector General, and that it was but proper that such report should have been referred to me by the Adjutant and Inspector General before being forwarded to the President.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. RANSOM, JR.,

Major-General.