On the 12th of February I had the honor to address you a letter in reference to the telegram, and on the 3rd instant I addressed another letter in reference to both the telegram and the letter from General Butler, in both of which I claim to have fully shown the wrong done me by General Butler in his accusations; and yet, although copies of my communications, as I understand, have been sent to General Butler, I do not hear that he has taken any notice of them.
The object of this letter, a copy of which I respectfully request may be sent to General Butler, is to assert my claim to a further notice of the subject by General Butler, and I feel at liberty to require that he shall either sustain his accusations or withdraw them. It would not be proper for me either to rest quietly under such imputations or permit him to maintain silence in regard to them after the receipt of my letters. As he found time to make the accusations it is not competent for him to urge the want of time, either to justify himself or relieve me from the odium he has been disposed to cast upon me, and I desire him to understand that I have a right to require either the one or the other, and I respectfully request you to allow me thus to require it at his hands.
No man has a right to throw vitriol into his neighbor's face and then fold his arms in silence as if not answerable for it.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Major General of Vols. and Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, March 25, 1864.
Major-General BUTLER, Fortress Monroe:
Did you receive from this Department copies of two papers addressed to me by Major-General Hitchcock, one dated on the 12th of February and the other-March, in relation to the telegram you sent me some time ago animadverting on him with some severity. They were directed to be sent you, but not hearing from you I infer that they have either miscarried or by some omission in the Department have not been sent. If not received by you I will forward copies.
EDWIN M. STANTON.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
Fort Monroe, March 25, 1864.
Commanding Confederate Forces, Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Your note to General Palmer fell into my hands. * I have found Watkins and he confesses to the appropriation of the money, $550 Confederate Treasury notes. He avers that he left the clothing in Petersburg. As the money was being sent by you to a U. S. officer, a prisoner of war, I take leave to return you the like amount.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
*Pickett's note not found.