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 were as able and upright as their successors. Books and papers were taken with little regard to order, and tumbled into the wagons. Important papers were picked up en route to the new office, and record books were found on the stairs of the university and on the grounds. After the apparent close of the Freedmen's Bureau and after the completion of my Indian peace expedition, I was still detained at Washington. Events which rapidly followed each other show that what was called the “confusion of records” of the late Bureau was the actual cause of my detention. General Vincent, who was placed over the records, and who undertook to systematize a part for complete files, and to rectify others for further use, advised Mr. Belknap to work out through General Howard not only the rectification of the records in his office, but the gathering of all missing books and accounts from Maryland to Texas. I was, notwithstanding this demand upon me, denied access to my own books. The officer in charge constantly wrote me asking explanation of apparent discrepancies to be found only in papers, many of which his clerks had thought of no value and had burned in the basement of the War Department before they were properly arranged after the transfer. Others, though ordered to Washington, had not yet come from inaccessible points of operation in the South. This lengthy correspondence began as soon as I returned from the Southwest. Out of that correspondence came misconceptions; some reasonable on their face and some imaginary. Finally, as the friction became intense, formal accusations in two letters of the Secretary of War were addressed to the Speaker of the
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