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[293] to such discussions to be disturbed thereby. There seems no possible explanation of the great shock General Thomas received but the discovery that he had apparently done an irreparable injury to himself. But I do not believe General Thomas himself was the author of those acts which were so foreign to his nature.

At Nashville, in December, 1864, and afterward, General Thomas appears to have been made the victim of a conspiracy to poison his mind by false accusations against his senior subordinate. A press report of a conversation said to have taken place in San Francisco in the year 1869, between General Thomas and General Halleck, gave some indication of the effect which had been produced on the mind of General Thomas. From that time forward there appeared frequent indications of the secret operations of that conspiracy; but no public evidence of its character or authors came to my knowledge until 1881, when there appeared in the New-York Times of June 22 an article, copied from the Toledo ‘Northern Ohio Democrat,’ which disclosed the character of the false accusations which had been made to General Thomas at Nashville, and the name of their principal, if not sole, author. That publication gave me for the first time the means of refuting a vile slander which had been doing its deadly work in secret for nearly seventeen years. The following correspondence with General Grant shows the character of that slander, and its complete refutation:

London, England, July 12, 1881.
General U. S. Grant, New York, U. S. A.
my dear General: For a long time I have been made aware of the fact that a base falsehood was secretly circulated throughout the country, to the effect that while General Thomas's army was at Nashville in December, 1864, I endeavored in some way to influence you or somebody in Washington to remove him from the command and to place me in his stead. I have not heretofore been able to defend myself against this slander because of

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