NASHVILLE, August 23, 1865.
Major General G. H. THOMAS, Nashville:
GENERAL: In obedience to your instructions I have the honor to make the following statement:
An order from the War Department of the United States releasing me from confinement as a prisoner of war directed that I should be paroled in accordance with the terms agreed upon between Major-General Sherman and General Johnston. I have not carried about my person or baggage any weapons since May 1, 1865.
About 4 o'clock p. m. on the 21st instant, while I was lying on my bed in my room at the City Hotel, no other person being in the room, some one knocked at my door. After partially dressing myself I unlocked my door, when two officers, partially dressed in U. S. uniform, entered, one of whom stated that he at one time had been a prisoner in my hands, and that he had come to thank me for kindness received at the time. The other said he knew me and had called to make this personal respects. After a few moments of polite conversation they arose and bade me good-by, remarking that as they discovered I was unwell they would not remain any longer. About five minutes after their departure I heard another knock at my door, which I again unbolted as soon as possible, when two other officers dressed in U. S. uniform, neither of whom I had ever been before, entered. One of them advanced and extended his hand, which I took. While in the act of shaking hands, he remarked, "Is this General Wheeler?" And upon my answering in the affirmative he stated that he was Colonel Blackburn. The other officer immediately seized me by both arms, when Colonel Blackburn, having given no previous intimation whatever of his hostile purpose, struck me violently twice my head with a club of considerable dimensions. I struggled away from the man who held me, and as I left the room both the assailants followed me, the other officer holding a pistol in a threatining manner. I am confident I only prevented him from shooting me by keeping Colonel Blackburn between him and myself. Colonel Blackburn continued his attempts to strike me, but I succeeded in warding off his blows with my arms. Finally a gentleman caught hold of the other officer, when Colonel Blackburn hastily ran back and ran down the stairs.
I am satisfied that the attempt was one upon my life, and that the pistol would have been fired at me but from the fact of Colonel Blackburn being between myself and the officer holding it.
I would her state that I never issued any order whatever to the prejudice of Colonel Blackburn or any of his men, and that all his men who fell into my hands were kindly treated and allowed to return to their commands in bodies, in order that they might not be molested by any one. I would further state that while passing through the country I do not recollect that any complaint was made by any of Colonel Blackburn's family, or that anything whatever was taken from them.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Late C. S. Army.
The foregoing is addressed to you in the form of an official communication, but now desire to swear the facts are true as set forth.
Late C. S. Army.