Butler, who lately reported at Lowell, wore the subject of fighting preachers threadbare, and although he made a little newspaper notoriety by it, if he or any one else has ever helped to "put down" the rebellion by such contest I do not know it.
D. S. STANLEY,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Huntsville, Ala., February 15, 1865.
Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of Brigadier General R. S. Granger's Provost Order, 10, for the District of Northern Alabama, dated Huntsville, Ala., January 22, 1865, in reference to receiving deserters from the rebel army within the lines of said district, and I wish in connection therewith to call attention to the treatment that such deserters have received. It has lately been the habit of the authorities at this post to place rebel deserters who come within the lines of this district at once under arrest and confine them in the Huntsville jail more or less days. They are then sent to Nashville under guard, where they are committed to prison, and afterward either forwarded to be exchanged prisoners of war of after taking the amnesty oath allowed to return to their homes. The reason given for confining these men here and sending them to Nashville to be disposed of is orders from the provost-marshal of the department. Men of known and decided loyalty in this community here lately presented to me and asked for my interference in several cases in which bona fide deserters who, after giving themselves up to the authorities here in accordance with General Granger's order, have been forwarded to Nashville and from there sent off to be exchanged as prisoners of war. This action on the part of the authorities has been made known to the deserters from Hood's army who are now hiding and lurking about in North Alabama, north and south of the Tennessee River, and the result of this course is that very few of the many deserters now south of the river are at present coming into our lines for the purpose of giving themselves up. and fearing that they will be treated as prisoners of war they will not come. Being away from their homes, which are within the lines occupied by this army, these men will soon be forced to resort to bushwhacking, or taking advantage of the liberal terms and promises now offered by the Confederate authorities they will against rejoin the rebel army. As an excuse for placing deserters in confinement it is said that they come in and give themselves up for the purpose of operating as guerrillas, and therefore they should be arrested and taken under guard to Nashville for the purpose of being examined. This may be the fact in very few cases. However, if these men wish to operate in this country as guerrillas it is a very easy matter for them to do so by crossing the river and join some of the bands now in this vicinity. This course they know is much saber than to have given themselves up and then be caught as guerrillas, with an amnesty oath in their pockets. Where many of them might bushwack without having taken the oath, they would not dare to do it after having taken it. It is said that some deserters who given themselves up in this district, and who have taken the oath have been captured bushwhacking and guerrilla fighting. Is not the action of the authorities in arresting such men and keeping them in jail at this point for several