War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0681 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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to give you full 3,000. You can arrange with Major Chambliss, inspector of cavalry, at Louisville, for getting horses to mount your force of 1,993 men, as I have given him the necessary instructions. Report to me at Nashville how soon you can get them mounted.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

U. S. STEAMER GENERAL THOMAS, Bridgeport, Ala., February 9, 1865.

Lieutenant M. FORREST,

Commanding Eleventh District, Mississippi Squadron:

SIR: Inclosed letter from Colonel Lowe, C. S. Army, just reached me. The facts in the case are as follows: I was not at anchor, but on my way up river to look after a rebel force, said to have been attempting to cross the river. As I came in sight opposite Whitesburg Landing, we saw a cavalry column in a corn-field in rear of landing. I trained guns on them. At this time saw the flag of truce; sent a boat with an officer to ascertain what was wanted. He found six or seven men on the bank armed (or some of them were), who answered they wanted nothing of the gun-boats. He then asked what cavalry those were in the rear, which they denied having seen. I fired three shots at the cavalry, not at the flag, nor have I ever fired on houses or citizens' dwellings, but ever endeavored to treat all with kindness when not in arms against us. I respect a flag of truce, and ever shall conduct my vessel in such humane manner as to defy the accusations of our enemies that we are dishonorable. I regret what has occurred and hope above explanation will be satisfactory.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. MORTON.

[Indorsement.]

This will certify I was sent on shore November 5, 1864, to ascertain the purpose of a flag of truce at Whitesburg Landing, and the above statement of Captain Morton is correct. I saw the cavalry before I went in the boat; was officer of the deck. Orders from Captain Morton were to fire on the cavalry.

Respectfully,

A. C. ORCUTT,

Acting Master's Mate, U. S. Steamer.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS SOUTH BANK TENNESSEE RIVER, November 18, 1864.

[Brigadier General R. S. GRANGER:]

GENERAL: Your attention is respectfully called to the facts and circumstances of the late violation of a flag of truce by the U. S. steamer Thomas, on the Tennessee River. On the 5th instant I ordered Captain Hale, of my command, with two soldiers and in company with two citizens,t o repair to the south bank of the river to hold communication by flag of truce with the Federal officer at Whitesburg. My flag was at once answered by that officer. A preliminary conference was being held across the river, a white flag on either bank, when the steamer Thomas, lying out in the river, sent a boat to this side with a flag of truce in her bow, to know "what was wanted." Captain Hale