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So General Burnside's memory failed again in this instance.

This fact is mentioned because I stated to the committee in December, 1862, that I had fought the whole strength of my command as well as I could “under the orders that I had received,” supposing the committee knew, as it ought to have known, what orders I had received. It ought to have known these orders, because it had already received the evidence of the commanding General.

There is one omission in the report of my evidence before this committee which is somewhat important to me. When I was before it, about April first, 1863, I stated that if my conduct at the battle of Fredericksburg was in course of investigation by it, I would be glad to have taken the evidence of Generals Smith and Hardie, who were with me during the whole day of the battle. The chairman refused to call these gentlemen, on the ground that there was no time. No mention of the request or the refusal was made in the report or the evidence. Yet there are published in the evidence two affidavits of staff officers of General Burnside, bearing on the subject, and both dated after the date of my evidence and made in Cincinnati, the committee sitting in Washington. If there was time to have received them, there was time to have taken the evidence of Generals Smith and Hardie. Whether these affidavits were considered in making up the report of the committee I do not know.

On March nineteenth, 1866, General Franklin wrote to General Halleck, informing him that circumstances might render it necessary for him to publish certain correspondence between them in relation to a statement made by General Burnside, that he had! requested of the President the removal of the Secretary of War and General-in-Chief shortly after the battle of Fredericksburg. The following are copies of General Halleck's answer and its enclosures, followed by copies of all the correspondence:

headquarters Military division of the Pacific, San Francisco, Cal., April 17, 1866.
Major-General W. B. Franklin, Hartford, Conn.:
General: I have just received your note of March nineteenth, in which you state that it may be necessary for you to publish my letters to you (which you have hitherto regarded as confidential) in regard to General Burnside.

Having no intention to enter into any discussions in regard to differences or disputes which have arisen out of the events of the war, I shall very much regret the necessity of bringing my name into any question of difference between yourself and General Burnside. In order that you may have in your possession all the documentary evidence on the subject, I enclose herewith copies of my letter to him of May ninth 1863, and his telegraphic answer of May fourteenth. Whether or not General Burnside ever made the promised answer to your pamphlet, I know not. I have never seen any, and the enlosure is the only correspondence we ever had on the subject.

Both Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stanton assured me at the time that General Burnside had never made to them, or in their presence, the statement alluded to in your pamphlet; out that on the contrary, he had always expressed full confidence in, and warm regard for both the Secretary and myself.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

General Halleck to General Burnside.


Headquarters of the army, Washington, May 9, 1863.
Major-General Burnside, Cincinnati.
General: Major-General Franklin's pamphlet on the battle of Fredericksburg has been before the public for some weeks, and no doubt has attracted your attention.

General Franklin states positively that after that battle you urged the President to remove from office the Secretary of War and General-in-Chief. In the absence of any contradiction of this positive statement, it must be presumed that it is correct.

As you certainly could have had no motives personal to yourself for giving this advice to the President, and as you were well aware that I was placed in my present position contrary to my own wishes, and that I had endeavored to be relieved from it, I am bound to believe that, in my case, you were actuated in giving the alleged advice to the President, solely by a desire to confer a personal favor upon me. I look upon the matter in this light, and sincerely thank you for using your influence with the President, in the manner stated by General Franklin, to have me relieved from a thankless and disagreeable position, which you knew I did not wish to occupy.

Very truly yours,

From Gen. Burnside to Gen. Halleck.


Letter of the ninth, (9th,) just received. Never saw Franklin's pamphlet till day before yesterday. Shall answer it briefly, as soon as I have time. It cannot hurt any of us after it is answered.


General Halleck to General Franklin.

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., May 25, 1863.
[Personal and private.]

Major-General Franklin, York, Penn.:

General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of your pamphlet on the battle of Fredericksburg. I do not feel called upon to express any opinion in regard to the matters of dispute between yourself and General Burnside. Of course one or the other must be in error, but I presume the differences are such as often occur between honorable men, who both believe themselves to be in the right. There are, however, one or two statements in regard to myself to which I desire to call your attention.

You state positively that General Burnside made a “formal and earnest request to the President to remove the Secretary of War and General-in-Chief from the positions severally occupied by them.” If consistent with your own sense of propriety, I respectfully ask that you will give me your authority for this positive assertion on your part. I am induced to ask this, from the fact that General Burnside was fully aware that I was placed in my present position against my own wishes; that I had taken every proper measure to avoid its responsibilities, and, at that very time I was desirous of being relieved from these responsibilities. I say that General Burnside was personally fully aware of these facts. How, under such circumstances, he could request my removal, is to me incomprehensible. Nevertheless, till your positive statement is explained or contradicted, it must be believed.

You seem to think that General Burnside's letter to me was drawn out of him for the purpose of removing responsibility from the shoulders of his superiors. In regard to this matter I have only to say, that the letter was published by permission of the President, after both the Secretary of War and myself had advised against its publication, and I had positively refused my assent. As I had advised against the Fredericksburg base from the beginning, and had abundant proofs of that fact, I required no statement of General Burnside in regard to my responsibility.

Again, in regard to General Burnside's order, or pretended order, No. 8, you are also under misapprehension. I have never seen that order. I learned from the President that an order had been presented to him by General Burnside, dismissing several officers of his command for endeavoring to create dissatisfaction and insubordination in his army. I said immediately, that if such was the case, the commander in the field ought to be sustained. I did not then know, nor do I know now, the names of the officers charged with so high a military offence. Moreover, I have been told by good authority that the pretended order, published in the newspapers, is very different from the order shown the President.

In these, as in many other matters connected with the Army of the Potomac, the press has grossly misrepresented me. But time will place all these things in their true light.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

General Franklin to General Halleck.

York, Penn., May 27, 1863.
To Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
General: I have received your letter of the twenty-fifth inst. I am sure, from your statement, that General Burnside did not make the “formal and earnest request to remove the Secretary of War” and yourself, to which reference is made in my pamphlet reply to the Committee on the Conduct of the War, and my assertion should have been that General Burnside said that he made the request.

The facts are these. General Burnside was in Washington on or about January first, last. He returned to camp, and soon after his return, informed me, I think in the presence of General Smith, and perhaps others, that he had seen the President, and had verbally recommended to

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