Majors (soldier), C. Dyer (soldier), H. Jones, N. Branson (soldier), F. Harsell, F. M. Buckner, Jacob Shelton and son, and Z. Nedeham, besides others whose names I have not yet learned. They were more fiendlike than any ever known in this country, robbing houses in such a wanton manner as to show that destruction was their aim. They went on shooting at any and all who tried to get out of their way.
Now, general, the Union citizens of this country call aloud for retaliation in so far as to arrest immediately as many rebel citizens as they took of ours, to be held as hostages, that the return of ours may thereby be secured. This is the prayer of this community, and they respectfully ask the same of you through me. Will you give an order to this effect, accompanied with the means to carry it nd enough int he neighborhood of this devilment who have not taken the oath, but I am of the opinion that there are some who have taken the oath whom it would not be amiss to arrest as hostages, yet there might be enough found without taking such. Would it not be proper to proceed in this way? At the same time let them know what they are arrested for, and that as our men are treated so will they be.
Your most obedient servant,
J. W. BRANSON,
Captain and Deputy Provost-Marshal.
Brigadier General S. P. CARTER,
OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, Tenn., August 10, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to department headquarters for consideration.
It is recommended that a small mounted force be sent to Union County to arrest the hostages, in case the major-general commanding approves the policy. There are only about twenty infantry at Maynardville, Tenn. It is also very desirable to rid the country of the armed rebels who have committed so many depredations in Grainger and Hawkins Counties.
S. P. CARTER,
Brigadier-General and Provost-Marshal-General of East Tennessee.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
August 16, 1864.
This policy may and should be adopted if we have the power to execute it so thoroughly [as] to secure protection to loyal citizens. Otherwise it will simply result in general murder, plunder, and depopulation of East Tennessee. If small bands of robbers and murderers cannot be driven out or destroyed, retaliation will only beget retaliation, by which the loyal majority of East Tennessee must necessary suffer the most. General Ammen, commanding District of East Tennessee, is authorized to adopt such measures as he may deem wise and expedient for the protection of the loyal people.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,