to turn over the depot and stores. Unless he is arrested for gross neglect of duty or for disloyalty, supersede the order immediately, and direct Lieutenant Smyser to resume charge of the depot. Report the facts by telegraph.*
By order of the Secretary of War:
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., April 3, 1863.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
DEAR SIR: Pardon us for intruding upon your private attention a few moments, just long enough to lay before you an account of the trials of two of the party who composed the Mitchel secret service expedition, and after perusing the narrative, if you can in any way promote the interests of those men (for they are worthy of promotion) you will oblige your obedient servants and confer lasting favors upon the men.
LEWIS E. BREWSTER,
Captain, Commanding Company E.
JOHN V. PATTERSON,
First Lieutenant, Company C, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers.
ASA C. SPAFFORD,
Second Lieutenant, Company C, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers.
Lieutenant A. C. SPAFFORD:
SIR: You wished us to furnish a plain and unvarnished 'statement"of the troubles and trials experienced by us as parties connected with General O. M. Mitchel's secret service expedition. We herewith furnish you the required information. On the 7th day of April, 1862, our company commander, Captain A. McMahan, came to us (Mark Wood and Alfred Wilson) and informed us it was proposed by General Mitchel to organize a party of men who would volunteer to go on a secret and dangerous service expedition to the State of Georgia, the purpose of which party was to destroy railroad bridges and cut off the railroad communication between Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Mississippi. We volunteered to go, expecting to never return unless successful. Our division was at this time encamped at Shelbyville, Tenn. As soon as we signified our assent to go, we were ordered to report to J. J. Andrews, who was to be the leader of the party. Upon reporting we found there was to be a force of twenty-two men from the various regiments in the division, and was also informed that we would be reimbursed for all moneys we might expend while on this service, if we returned, whether successful or not. I, Mark Wood, expended for a suit of citizen's clothes, revolver, and expenses incurred while traveling, $125. Alfred Wilson expended $15, money being furnished him (Wilson) by J. J. Andrews. He expects no remuneration further than the above $15. We proceeded from Shelbyville, Tenn., to Chattanooga. We then went to Marietta, Ga.; from Marietta we came back north to a place called Big Shanty. There was a large rebel force of 20,000 men in camp at this place - Big Shanty. Here we found a train of
*See Burnside to Watson, VOL. XXIII, Part II, p. 209.