HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW ENGLAND,
Boston, January 1, 1862.
His Excellency JOHN A. ANDREW,
At the earliest possible moment of relief from graver duties, I answer Your Excellency's communication of the 30th ultimo. I referred in my communication of the 28th ultimo to the case of Wyman, appointed by Your Excellency colonel of the Sixteenth Massachusetts Regiment. Unless the testimony of brother officers serving with Wyman is to be disbelieved, facts notorious are to be denied which have never been denied before. Colonel Wyman, while an officer in the U. S. Army, held long adulterous intercourse with a Mrs. Brannan, a wife of a brother officer. This woman afterward left her home under such circumstances as to induce the belief that she was either murdered by herself or another. This Wyman obtained leave of absence from the Army and joined his paramour in Europe. While there he resigned his commission, because of a letter from the Adjutant-General of the Army that he would be court-martialed if he did not, and remained abroad until after the breaking out of the war, when he left her embraces and returned to the arms of the Commonwealth under Your Excellency's appointment. This woman was the mother of children, and if I should amend the language of my communication of the 28th ultimo I should and, "making a father worse than wifeless and children worse than motherless."
I used the phrase "you know" because I have been informed, and I have reason to believe and do believe, that the substance of these facts was known to Your Excellency at the time you made the appointment. Will Your Excellency deny that you were then put upon inquiry as to them? I cannot expose this matter, because it has long since been made a matter of exposition in the public prints. I have no further knowledge of Colonel Wyman, save that which may be learned by inquiry of any officer of the Army who served with him. I have no disposition to injure or interfere with him, and have made this communication only in reply to Your Excellency's statement.
I remain, very respectfully, Your Excellency's obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Boston, January 6, 1862.
Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, &c., &c., &c.:
SIR: At the first hour at my disposal for the purpose I acknowledge the receipt of your letter of January 1, in which you state that Colonel Powell T. Wyman, commanding the Sixteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, now stationed at Fortress Monroe, is the person to whom you had reference when addressing me under date of December 28 you asserted that I "know" that 'seducing a mother, and making a father wifeless and children motherless," "is no objection to a high military commission in Massachusetts." In answer to your somewhat peremptory interrogatory addressed to me in that letter of January 1, I would state for your information that the first knowledge I ever had of Mr. Wyman was through a letter addressed by him to the adjutant-general of Massachusetts, dated "London, England, May 1, 1861," stating that he was a citizen of Boston, and a graduate of the West