SEPTEMBER 16, 1864.
Secretary of War for special attention.
ABINGDON, VA., August 14, 1864.
Governor HAWES, Abingdon, Va.:
GOVERNOR: I take the liberty of applying to you, as the highest official of the State of Kentucky, to procure your aid in bringing about an investigation of certain matters which occurred on the late expedition of General Morgan through that State. I regret to state that the most unbounded license and plundering prevailed on the whole trip. Property was forcibly taken from citizens for private purposes; houses were plundered of the silver-plate and even the clothing of the occupants; jewelry was taken from the persons of females, and in one or two well-established cases violence was threatened to effect it. In the case of the Misses Todd, of Cynthiana, a young man, who was temporarily acting as a staff officer, drew his pistol on the ladies, and in the most threatening manner ordered them to deliver their money and jewelry, asserting at the same time that he was an officer and acting under authority. In the case of Mrs. Hamilton the offense is still more aggravated. This lady was riding to the town of Mount Sterling with delicacies for our wounded when she was halted, made to give up her watch and other jewelry, and also her horse. Banks were robbed, and the actors in these transactions were publicly exhibiting the fruits of their stealings. In fact, I will not weary you with recounting in further detail the numberless acts of this sort that were perpetrated. Suffice it to say, that the conduct of our command on this expedition was such as to disgrace the country and cause a man to blush at the name of Confederate soldier. When I returned to our lines I determined to have these matters investigated, and accordingly on the 1st day of July I sent General Morgan the following communication:
CAMP NEAR BRISTOL, TENN., July 1, 1864.
GENERAL: A report is current in the community, as well as in camp, that in addition to the general plundering and license which prevailed on our late expedition, that the banks were robbed at Mount Sterling of $62,000, at Lexington of $10,000, and at Winchester and Maysville of bonds and money, amount not known. These rumors are based on the statement of a number of reliable gentlemen, who implicate several members of your staff, and also your couriers, as among the guilty parties. One person connected with your staff has been heard to boast that he participated in the Mount Sterling robbery, and although he has not yet obtained his share of the booty he will do so or expose the whole matter.
As officers deeply interested in the reputation of your command, as well as from a duty which we owe to our own characterst an immediate official investigation of these matters, so that if proved to be true the blame may rest where it properly belongs and the guilty parties brought to that punishment which they most justly deserve.
Very respectfully, &c.,
This letter was signed by one other officer besides myself, Lieutenant Colonel R. M. Martin. Inclosed in this letter was a private communication stating more freely the reasons which had induced us to urge this matter and informing General Morgan that his own character was deeply concerned in the result. The 3rd day of July a reply was received from General Morgan expressing his gratitude for the kind attention which had called the matter to his notice, and stating that as his own character was deeply affected no one could be more anxious than he was to have the affair fully investigated and the proper atonement made to the injured