War of the Rebellion: Serial 100 Page 0636 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Seventh. In order to sustain his position that the movements of my troops, ordered by General Grant, were in violation of his truce which I was bound to observe even without knowing its terms, and that he would have been justified to resisst "even at the cost of namy lives", General Sherman refers to a chapter of International Law. His reference is most pointedly against his positions and doctrines, and the case given in illustration in Section 4 was one of which General Sherman was personally cognizant. In that case a suboedinate commander refused to be bound a truce of his superior commanding another departmant. General Sherman was not even my superior. I countend that all my orders were justifiable by the laws of war and military usage, even if they had not been directed by superior authority.

Eighth. General Sherman says that General Grant "reached n time to countermand General Halleck's orders and prevent his violanting my truce". This is not true. General Grant neither disapproved nor countermanded any orders of mine, nor was there at that time any truce. It had ceased by General Grant's orders to resume hostilities, and the subsequent surrender of Johnston's army, of which he then notified me, and recalled a part of the troops which he had directed me to send to Danville and Greensborough.

Ninth. There is but one other point in General Sherman's official* complaint that I deem it necessary to notice. I refer to the suggestion made to you in regard to orders to Generals Thomas and Wilson for proventing the escape of Davis and his cabinet. Although these officers were the nominal command of General Sherman, yet after he left Altant they received their instructions and orders from yourself and General Grant direct, not through General Sherman. This is recognized and provided for by the regulations of the War Department and has been practiced for years. I have transmitted hundreds of orders in this way and General Sherman was cognizant of the fact. The movements of General Thomas, Stoneman, Wilson, A. J. Smith, &c., while whithin General Sherman's general command have been directed in this way for more that six mounths. In suggesting the orders be sent to these officers directly, and not through General Sherman, I suggested no departure from well-esstblished official channels; but even if I had the responsibility of adopting that course must rest upon the authority who sent the orders.

if his complaint is directed against the from of the suggestion, I can only say that I was innocent of any intended offense. My telegram was hurriedly written, intended for yourself, not the public, and had reference to the state of facts as reported to me. It was reported that orders purporting to come from General Sherman had been received through rebel lines of General Wilson to withdraw from Macon, relase his prisoners, and that all hosilities should cease. These orders threw open the door for the escape of Davis and his party. This I knew was contracty to the wishes and orders of the Government, but I had no means of knowing whether or not Sherman had been so informed. I at the time had no communication with or with General Grant, and I was not aware that either could communicate with our officers in the West except through rebel authorities, who of course could not be [relied] on. I repeat that my suggestin had reference only to the facts and wishes of the Government as known to me at the time, and was intended in no respect to reflect upon or be disrespectful to General Sherman. If I had been able to communicate with General Sherman, or had know at the time the condition of affairs in North Carolina,


*In another copy this word is omitted.