War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0719 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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as many friends as we can by a just and lenient course toward the people, and to give our enemies as we occasions as possible to bring the accusation of an unforgiving course against us. To bring this to a practical question: About the time I took command here, Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Horner, provost-marshal of the district, selected certain persons to whom he addressed certain interrogatories, at this place and at Athens, which questions not only aim at ascertaining what the persons' acts have been, but require of them an account of their sympathies, and they are given to understand that upon their answers to these questions will depend whether they are to stay at their homes or go beyond our lines. I have never seen the list of the persons selected. I know of Mr. George W. Hustin, Luke Pryor, and Malone, of Athens; Mr. Denegan and Fearn, and two ministers, Ross and Bannister, of this place. To stead first of the laymen: Very one of these men was with the Union party ion the original contest in this State, and I hold men of that men of that class could not and have not changed their minds, and that they still naturally belong to us. The sending of such men as George Hustin of Mr. Luke Pryor into the Confederate lines would give the secessionists a good handle they would not neglect to use against us, and would equally depress the reconstructionist, who would little know to expect, seeing these they regard as of their party sent from our midst. The same may be said of Mr. Denegan and Fearn, of this place, with the addition that they are both invalids, are perfectly harmless and inoffensive, and no possible good to our side, nor one particle of harm to the rebel side could be achieved by sending them south, and there might be harm to our cause in the sympathy which these men, banished, would naturally excite. Lieutenant-Colonel Horner, moreover, is a most inappropriate person to make the selection of proper persons to send in such a case. He has been too long engaged in the petty duties of provost-marshal here, has had too much to do which the collections of post taxes and local squabbles to be fitted to make selections of citizens to be singled out for examples. With reference to the two ministers, Mr. Ross and Mr. Bannister, I have no doubt but they are secessionists, but as well as I can learn they confine themselves to their duties as priests and let politics alone. They are said to be popular preachers, and perhaps are hunting martyrdom, which would be my reason for not giving to them. At any rate, from the beginning of the world down, no cause has ever been promoted by fighting the preachers. Finally, it is the earnest wish of the loyal men of this place that these men should not be sent await. We who are engaged in this war have other homes to go to if we survive the war, but these people must live here, and it is not to be wondered at that they desire to extend kindness to their neighbors. The Union men tell me that some of these same citizens who have been catechized by Provost Marshal Horner used their utmost influence during late Confederate occupation to protect the Unionists of this vicinity. Under these circumstances I think it would be a good and winning policy for our side not to notify these men to leave, but by a firm, just, and merciful course to show them that ours is a Government which can afford to be magnanimous, and that it is immensely their interests to place themselves as soon as possible where they can claim to be its citizens.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding Fourth Army Corps.

P. S.-General Granger differs from me entirely regarding the preachers; thinks they ought to be expelled, but I answer that Major-General