War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0728 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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August 26, 1865.

[General E. D. TOWNSEND:]

GENERAL: In answer to your communication of the 23rd ultimo, Mr. Mitchel says if he was permitted to leave the country he would go to France. It is immaterial to him from what port he embarks. He would agree never to return unless allowed by the Secretary of State. His family are in Richmond and he has some unsettled business in New York. He would desire ten days' time to collect such portions of his family as would desire to accompany him and to attend to business of a private character. During which time he would engage in no public affairs or communicate with any newspaper unless it be to deny a misstatement in regard to himself.

I have the honor to remain, with the highest respect.


Brevet Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.


Nashville, Tenn., August 26, 1865.

Bvt. Brigadier General E. C. MASON, Commanding Post of Nashville:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your report of the investigation ordered by the major-general commanding into the causes for the assault upon Mr. Joseph Wheeler, late major-general in the Army of the so-called Confederate States at the City Hotel in this city. Your report ha been carefully and impartially considered by the major-general commanding, and the facts therein elicited and brought out, with other facts in the same connection, which have been brought to his notice, show the attack upon Mr. Wheeler by Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn and Captain Quinn, Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, to have been wholly unprovoked and unjustifiable and undecoming an officer in the service of the United States. Mr. Wheeler, as a paroled prisoner, is justly entitled to protection, instead of being exposed to assualt, and his position, by virtue of his parole, an unarmed man and hence without means of defense, should have been and must in fature be respected, and not only in his case but in the cases of all other persons occupying a similar position.

You will convey to Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn and to Captain Quinn, of the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, the notification of the displeasure and reprimand of Major-General Thomas for their unofficerlike and highly reprehensible conduct, and say to them that the muster out of the service of their regiment has been the only reason for their not being subjected to arrest and trial by court-martial. Their conduct at the time of the assault, as well as subsequently, has been an insult and a disgrace for the uniform they wore and is justly discountenanced and frowned down upon by every honorable and high-minded officer and enlisted man in the service.

The major-general commanding directs that you will further require of Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn and Captain Quinn positive and satisfactory assurances for their future good conduct and the strict compliance with all orders and regulations for the presention and maintenance of the public peace, and at the same time advising them