hibited any foraging party from preceding the head of my column, under penalty of arrest and forfeiture of all animals and supplies taken from the country. Yet in this case, when brought to my notice, I directed the animals to be returned, and seventeen mules (the horses could not be recognized) were given to Major Dunbar, assistant quartermaster, as an equivalent for the four horses and ten mules, with which arrangement, I am assured, he expressed entire satisfaction. In bith these cases I relaxed a rule which I should have enforced on my own command (trough the offenders were temporarily under my command) in a sincere and earnest spirit of conciliation, courtesy, and good will toward General Kilpatrick and his valuable command. I do not believe that any man of my command has intentionally destroyed forage. In the marches of nearly a year through Georgia and this State, I have never found an instant in which forage has been desyroyed by my men. Besides, my corps has never been on the road indicated by General Kilpatrick, but was marching directly from it. Be that as it may, Imwill tank General Kilpatrick, or any other general, to punish on the spot any man of this command found burning forage or pillaging the houses of decrepit old women. Or if he will return them to me with a statement of the case, I shall most assuredly not endeavor to screen them on the denial of the offenders alone. General Kilpatrick speaks of his ability to "retaliate," as though I had sent out men to harass his column, or had personally endeavored to affront him in some way. It would be puerile in me to disavow any such intention, and I really must protest against being held responsible for the conduct of bymmers and stragglers. I have the most kind and respectful feelings toward General Kilpatrick and his command, and I regret exceedingly to find that the irritated tone of his communication does not indicate a reciprocity of the feeling on his part. I shall endeavor, however, to take good care of his 250 wagonsetail with it, as I have done for the last month, and to avoid all real causes of compolaint or ill-feeling. I earnestly desire to cultivate a feeling of harmony and good feeling between the different commands, and in that spirit I respectfully request that General Kilpatrick be not permitted to "retaliate" by putting in force the order he announces in his communication.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. S. WILLIAMS,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, ARMY OF GEIRGIA,
Hanging Rock, S. C., February 27, 1865.
H. W. SLOCUM,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Hanging Rock, S. C., February 27, 1865.
Referred to General Kilpatrick for perusal and return to this office. There is no need of rejoinder. I take it for granted all general officers will accept a disclaimer discussion or question.
W. T. SHERMAN,