War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1167 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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[Inclosure Numbers 7.]

RICHMOND, VA., March 26, 1864.

Major General D. H. HILL,

Charleston, S. C.:

GENERAL: The Adjutant and Inspector General directs that I inclose you a copy of his letter bearing date on the 29th of February last,

and to say that he has never received letters from you bearing date the 4th and 17th instant.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

JNumbers W. RIELY,

Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure Numbers 8.]


Richmond, Va., April 4, 1864.

Major General D. H. HILL,

Charleston, S. C.:

GENERAL: I have received, by the hands of your aide-de-camp, your letter of the 29th ultimo* in which you claim that an expression of 'undiminished confidence" should be conveyed in the order assigning you to duty in the department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and that a promise to that extent was given to you. It would seem from the letter of your brother, Mr. W. R. Hill, to me and from his statement which accompanies your letter, that I had made that promise. I must state in reply that your brother, in believing I had made the promise, certainly misunderstood my remark to him. I expressed appreciation of your military character and patriotism and a disposition to gratify, as far as I could, the pride of an office who considers himself place in a false position, and added that if you would prepare the order of assignment in the terms in which you desired it to be announced it would receive attention-that is, it would be laid before the President. This is the substance of what I said in the conversation with your brother. In my letter to you of 16th of January ordering you to report to General Beauregard I informed you expressly that it was written by direction of the President. As the order was given by the President, not by the Secretary of War, as is usually the case, my subsequent order enlarging or varying the terms of your assignment t should properly have been submitted to him. He alone could direct in what language it should be expressed. Having therefore no discretion in the matter, I had no power to make such a promise as is attributed to me, and, indeed, with the knowledge I possessed of the views of the President, I would not have assumed the responsibility of making it. To express in orders "undiminished confidence" in an officer would be unprecedented in military history. You had been, in my letter of 16th of January, accorded "zeal and gallantry;" your assignment to duty was an acknowledgement of your fidelity; your capacity was to be determined by history in reviewing and considering your military services. For these reasons I could not have made the declaration ascribed to me by your brother, and regret exceedingly that he should have misunderstood me. As an officer of experience and long service in the army, well acquainted with the


*NOTE ON ORIGINAL.-This letter of General Hill of 29th of March merely inclosed copies of his letter to Adjutant-General of 4th and 17th of March. They are among these papers, numbered 5 and 6.