CITY POINT, VA., February 23, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington:
I see by the papers that an effort is being made to induce the President to appoint General Butler provost-marshal of Charleston and South Carolina. I cannot believe this will be done, but write to respectfully enter my protest. There are many reasons which I might give why General Butler should not be placed on duty again, but I think two of them are sufficient-his order to his troops on being relieved from duty, and his Lowell speech.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Rocky Mount, February 23, 1865-10 a.m.
Commanding Right Wing:
GENERAL: I have just down to the bridge. It will take all of to-day and to-morrow to get this wing across and out. You may go ahead, but keep communication with me. I expect Kilpatrick here this p.m. and will send him well to the left. He reports that two of his foraging parties were murdered by the enemy after capture and labeled, "Death to all foragers. " Now it is clearly our war right to subsist our army on the enemy. Napoleon always did it, but could avail himself of the civil powers he found in existence to collect forage and provisions by regular impressments. We cannot do that here, and I contend if the enemy fails to defend his country we may rightfully appropriate what we want. If our foragers act under mine, yours, or other proper orders they must be protected. I have ordered Kilpatrick to select of his prisoners man for man, shoot them, andleave them by the roadise labeled, so that our enemy willsee that for every man he executes he takes the life of one of his own. I want the oragers, however, to be kept within reasonable bounds for the sake of discipline. I will not protect them when they enter dwellings and commit wanton waste, such as woman's apparel, jewelry, and such things as are not needed by our army; but they may destroy cotton or tobacco, because these are assumed by the rebel Government to belong to it, and are used asa valuable source of revenue. Nor will I canent to our enemy taking thelives of our men on their judgment. They have lost all title to property, and can lose nothing not already forfeited; but we should punish for a departure from our orders, andif the people resist our foragers I will not dem it wrong, but the Confederate army must not be supposed the champion of any people. I lay down these general rules and wish you to be governed by them. If any of your foragers are murdered, take life for life, leaving a record of each case.
I am, with respect,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Red Hill Post-Office, February 23, 1865-12 m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN:
GENERAL: Captain Dayton's dispatch of 9 p.m. yesterday is just received. General Logan's head of column is already near Flat Rock.