WASHINGTON, D. C., June 22, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to the War Department for file.
The reasons assigned in General Butler's order for relieving me from my command, viz, to await a court of inquiry at Fortress Monroe, for which it was alleged I had applied, is distinctly disavowed in the within letter, and another and entirely different reason given, to wit, that in General Butler's opinion the command of troops cannot be safely intrusted to me with hopes of success. I respectfully submit that this can only be regard as the opinion of one officer; and although that officer was at the time of expressing it my commanding general, it is well known that he was unfriendly to me, and had at various times treated me with marked discourtesy. Attention is called to what purports to be an extract from my note of the 12th instant, as follows:
It only remains for me to deny respectfully, but emphatically, the charges therein set against me, to request a copy of the orders I have destroyed or failed to obey, and then to apply, &c.*
This is not a correct extract from my note, which was written in a manifold writer. The original is now before me. Where the word "destroyed" occurs in the above alleged extract, the word "disobeyed" was used in the original. This is an important alteration of my language, and is calculated to convey the erroneous idea that I had destroyed some of the orders given me; while in fact I neither disobeyed, neglected to obey, nor destroyed any orders, and my repeated demand for copied of such orders, or any evidence that they had ever been given, has remained unanswered.
Q. A. GILLMORE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, June 17, 1864.
If you have no objection to withdrawing your order relieving General Gillmore, I will relieve him at his own request. The way the matter now stands, it is a severe punishment to General Gillmore, even if a court of inquiry should hereafter acquit him. I think the course here suggested advisable, and would be pleased if you agree to it, thought I do not order or insist upon it.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
In the Field, June 17, 1864.
Commanding Armies of the United States:
GENERAL: I send you to withdrawal of so much of my special order as relieves Major-General Gillmore, according to your request, to take date as of the day of its issue, upon the supposition that it is to be operative and simultaneous with yours, relieving him at his request.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
*For full copy of note, see p. 290.