I appeal to you and through you if you have not the power to your superiors to know if my efforts and wishes in this matter cannot be met in a spirit of frankness and cordiality.
Hoping that in all official intercourse we may pursue mutual respect and feelings of personal kindness,
I remain, general, your obedient servant,
W. S. ROSECRANS,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY, February 19, 1863.
Being an officer of General Bragg's army I do not feel authorized to forward a communication to language of which, when referring to the commanding general of the army, indicates so little regard for the courtesies that are presumed to govern gentlemen in their intercourse.
Major-General and Chief of Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Murfreesborough, February 19, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to General Joseph E. Johnston to whom the letter is addressed.
The inclosures mentioned within have been abstracted. Duplicates are reenclosed.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
CAMP AT MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., February 4, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Cumberland.
SIR: In accordance with your request I herewith transmit a condensed account of the capture and subsequent destruction of a portion of your transportation by fire on the Cumberland River on the 13th day of January, 1863, at the head of Harpeth Shoals, thirty miles from Nashville and thirty-five miles from Clarksville.
I was on the steamer Hastings at the time of her being ordered by the guerrillas to land and at the request of the captain of the Hastings and the officers and men on board (near 260 wounded) assumed command. I answered their hail and order by saying "that we were loaded with wounded and could not stop; " they again ordered us to come to and backed their order by three volleys of musketry, after which I ordered the pilot of the Hastings, "Round the steamer to the shore. " This he immediately endeavored to do; the current being swift the boat yielded slowly and the enemy again fired two rounds of artillery, one of the balls taking effect on the steamer, seriously wounding one of the men. As soon as the boat struck the steamer that had been captured some two hours previously "a gang of drunken rebels under command of Colonel Wade took possession of the Hastings. " Then followed a scene of plunder and theft never before witnessed. They robbed soldiers and passengers indiscriminately, took from your wounded soldiers their blankets, rations, medicines and in many cases their clothing; robbed the officers of their side-arms, overcoats, hats, &c., the boat of all her freight, stores and money and her officers of their personal property.