Moreover, may I ask whose mother is alluded to, and whose wife?
and does the implied allegation mean that the crime of murder was added to that of seduction, although the words “you know” assume the existence of greater knowledge than I possess?
And, indeed, since the day I had the honor to detail yourself as a brigadier-general of the militia, at the beginning of the present war, to this day, and both inclusive, I cannot accuse myself of such an appointment.
If I have done so, I beg you to expose it.
On the 1st of January, 1862, General Butler
I referred, in my communication of the 28th ult., 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 of the United States army, held long adulterous intercourse with a Mrs. Brannan, the wife of a brother officer.
This woman afterwards 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-martialled if he did not, and remained abroad until after the breaking-out of the war, when he left her embraces, and returned to the army 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 ult., I should add, “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 farther 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.