attributed to my command. If all was true it would be very bad, but I am happy to say, after giving the matter as full investigation as the circumstances would permit, I have positive proof that most of the stealing referred to was committed by troops who did not and never did belong to my command, and with whom I never had anything whatever to do. The case of Captain Conway proved to be most flagrant. After arresting him, and upon investigating the matter, I found he did not belong to my command, but was acting under the orders of Major Norman W. Smith, chief inspector of transportation, Second District. There are a great number of other cases where men have falsely stated that they belonged to my command. During the past year I have worked very hard, and am happy to state have so far succeeded that no one can sustain the charge of neglect or any other charge against me. I regret to say that one of my commanding officers appears to censure, without showing a willingness to hear or entertain explanations which entirely alter the nature of the allegation. To-day my force is larger than when the campaign commenced last spring, although I have had about 3,000 men killed and wounded, and now have eight regiments detached. I negretted to hear that General Hardee had asked to have General Young promoted to major-general, to take command of Allen's division. General Allen has served with most distinguished gallantry and ability during the entire campaign, winning by his gallantry the confidence of his officers and men. I feel that it would be a mark of great injustice to him and to the command for General Young to be placed over him, particularly as General Allen has kept his command better together than General Young, and has done as good, and I believe better, fighting.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant and friend,
P. S. --I did not mention above that most of the general officers have been assigned to this command, instead of promoting colonels. This was advisable at one time, but now the necessity no longer exists--at least to the extent of going to the Virginia army to get material for major-generals for our commands. General Robertson is to-day as good a division commander as can be found in any of our armies. If our cavalry has not been as well kept together as it should have been, it has been caused in a great measure by reasons beyond the control of myself or my division commanders. I have reorganized my command, breaking up two brigades and increasing the others. I think Sherman will commence his march soon, either in direction of Augusta or Charleston, or he may first march to Branchville.
CHARLESTON, January 4, 1865.
Hardeeville, via Grahamville:
Inform me where the advance of the enemy now is, his probable force, and intentions.
W. J. HARDEE,
[JANUARY 4, 1865. --For Wheeler to Hardee, reporting operations, see Part I, p. 1115.]