War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0703 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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port of the letter, and it was stated that it would not be necessary for it to go to General Lee if the officer taking it to the enemy's lines could make an informal arrangement with the officer receiving it for the recovery of our wounded and dead.

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

The telegraph operators at my headquarters were arrested this morning, and I understand that the cause of their arrest the taking off of messages and delivering them to me. Whatever they have done in that way was by my direction and for what I conceived to be for the good of the public service. No cipher messages have ever been taken off. I am entirely responsible for this and am to blame if any one is. They have been active and efficient during the campaign, and should not be made to suffer for what they could not help doing.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 31, 1864-3.30 p.m.

Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,

Commanding Ninth Corps:

Your dispatch relative to the arrest of the telegraph operators at your headquarters has been submitted to the major-general commanding, who directs me to say that e is surprised to learn that you had given them such orders after the conversation he had with you upon the subject, in which he declined to authorize your doing so. The commanding general further directs me to say that the operators were expressly prohibited from taking off any messages except those directed to the commanders with whom they were serving, and must therefore be tried for the offense.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 31, 18664-3.30 p.m.

Major General A. E. BURNSIDE:

The commanding general desires to be informed whether you have communicated with the enemy with a flag of truce, and whether any proposition for an informal arrangement for bringing off our wounded and dead was acceded to. If not, was the letter addressed to General Lee preserved and forwarded to him? The commanding general desires to be informed what is the condition of affairs in your front at this time.

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.