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[450] House of Representatives, dated respectively December 4, 1873, and January 5, 1874.

As soon as the first letter appeared (which it did before I saw it elsewhere) in the public journals, and before its receipt by the Speaker, I wrote to Generals Grant and Sherman, and to Secretary Belknap, and demanded a hearing of some kind for all the charges, before any court or tribunal the Government might elect. The secretary's letters suggested that I might be court-martialed were it not for the statute of limitation; so I at once waived that as far as I could. I did not wish, however, a court of inquiry of three officers selected by the secretary, who was hostile to the negro and unfriendly to me. After much delay and discussion in Congress, a special court of inquiry of seven army officers of high rank was created by law. General Grant, the President, appointed the court. It first assembled March 3, 1874, in rooms of a dwelling house, No. 1816 F Street. After two adjournments, the members of the court, seven in number, were all present, to wit:

Major Asa Bird Gardner was appointed judge advocate of the court and, as prosecutor, represented the Secretary of War.

The charges were in substance that General Howard

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