General Sheraman refelcts on me for not going in person to violate, as he is pleased to call it, a truce which he "was bound in honor to defend and maintain," "even at the cost of many lives", and upon the marching powers of the troops which I sent into North Carolina. In reply to this I can only say that I was not ordered to go with these troops, but to send them under their commanders to certain points, there to await further orders from Lieutenant-General Grant, precisely as I directed. The troops were mostly selected by General Grant, not by me, and as he had commanded them for a year he probably knew something of their capacity for maching and whether or not they would march their legs off "to catch the treasure for their own use. "
Third. Again, General Sherman complains that my orders of April 26, to push forward against Johnston's army, were given at the very time I knew that that army was surrendering to him.
In making this statement ho forgets time and circumstances. He must have know that I did not have and could not possibly have had at that time any official information of any new arragements between him and Johnston for the surrendor of the latter's army. Neither General Sherman nor any one else could have sent me such official information otherwise than by sea, which would have required several days. I only knew from General Grant that Sherman's "arrangements" had been disapproved, that orders had been given to resume hostilities, and that I was directed by him to push forward my troops to Greensborough, where they would receive further orders. All other information from North Carolina came from rebel sources.
Fourth. The burden of General Sherman's complaint on this subject is that I ordered Generals Sheridan and Wright to push forward their troops as directed by General Grant, "regardless of any orders from any one except General Grant". This was simply carrying out the spirit of my instructions from General Grant. He had notified me that orders had been given to resume hostilities, and had directed me to send certain troops to Greensborough to await his further orders. As these troops approached the boundaries of North Carolina, Johnston, Beauregard, and other rebel officers tried, on the alleged grounds of arrangements with Sherman, to stop the movements ordered by General Grant. When informed of this I directed my officers to execute tne commands which General Grant had given to me, regardless of orders froGrant himself. I respectfully submit that I could not have done less without neglicting my duty.
Fifth. General Sherman sneers at any sending troops from the direction of Burkeville and Danville against Davis in North Carolina, as "hardy worthy of" my "military education and genius. " However rediculous General Sherman may consider these movements, they were made precisely as General Grant had directed them.
Sixth. He complains that I did not notify him in regard to Davis and his stolen treasure. For the reason that I had no communication open to him. My most direct way of communication with him was through the Department at Washington, and I sent all information to the Department as soon as it was received.
However "absurd" General Sherman may have considered the information, it was givenby some of the most respectable and reliable business men in Richmond through a gentleman whose character and position would prevent me from pronouncing his statements "absurd", and of saying, without examination, "I don't believe a word of the treasure story. "