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WASHINGTON, D. C., September 25, 1862. GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following for the consideration of the General-in-Chief:
On the 8th February, 1862, about the hour of midnight, I was arrested by an armed guard, commanded by Brig. Gen. George Sykes, and placed in close confinement, under guard, in the quarters of the officers of the provost-marshal's guard.
At the time of the arrest I asked of General Sykes the cause, but was informed that he was perfectly ignorant of it.
Early on the morning of the 9th February I addressed the following letter to the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, viz:
Washington, D. C., February 9, 1862. GENERAL: This morning, about 1 o'clock, I was arrested by Brigadier-General Sykes, commanding City Guard, and made a close prisoner, by order, as I was informed, of the Major-General Commanding-in-Chief.
Conscious of being and having been at all times a faithful soldier of the United States, I most respectfully request that I may be furnished, at as early a moment as practicable, with a copy of whatever charges may have been preferred against me, and the opportunity of promptly meeting them. Very respectfully, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier General Volunteers. Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Army of the Potomac.
The above letter was carried by General Sykes to General Williams early in the morning of the 9th February. No answer has ever been received by me.
During the night of February 9 I was conveyed, in charge of a lientenant and two police officers, to Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor, and turned over to the custody of Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, Third Artillery, who immediately sent me in charge of a guard to Fort Lafayette, where I was delivered to Lieutenant Wood, Ninth Infantry.
At Fort Lafayette the money was taken from my pockets, and I was placed in solitary confinement in a room ordinarily used as enlistedmen's quarters, where I was kept forty-nine days, nó letter being allowed to reach or to leave me without inspection.
During this confinement I applied at different times, through the proper channels, for speedy trial, for charges, for change of locality, and access to the records of my office and headquarters to enable me to prepare for trial, &c., but never received any response to any of my communications.
After forty-nine days I was transferred to Fort Hamilton, and allowed opportunities of obtaining air and exercise, but the same restrictions were continued on my correspondence.
I applied for a copy of the order placing me in.confinement, but could not obtain it.
I applied to my custodian to learn what crime was alleged against me, and he informed me that he knew nothing of it.
After thus awaiting charges more than two months, I applied for suspension of arrest and opportunity to serve before Yorktown, but received no reply.
Again, on the occasion of the retreat of our forces from the Shenan. doal Valley, I applied for suspension of arrest and opportunity to serve, but received no reply.
On the 4th of July I again applied, but received no reply.
I applied for an extension of limits, but received only the reply that the Secretary of War was absent, and no extension could be given until his return.
Finally, on the 16th August, 1862, after one hundred and eighty-nine days of confinement, I was fully released from arrest, without any order what to do.
I immediately reported myself for duty.
I would respectfully represent that the law requires, peremptorily, that when an officer is placed in arrest, it shall be the duty of the officer who orders the arrest to see that the officer arrested is furnished within eight days with a copy of the charges against him.
Two hundred and twenty-eight days have now elapsed since my arrest, and not only have no charges been furnished me, but no allegation of crime to justify arrest has been made to me or to those who had me in custody.
I now respectfully apply again to the General-in-Chief for a copy of any charges or allegations which may have been made against me and the opportunity of promptly meeting them, and in case trial cannot be had, I would respectfully ask that at least the charges may be furnished, so that I may know what falsehoods require refutation and witnesses I shall require to accomplish the refutation.
It is perhaps superfluous for me to call attention to the fact that those who have served under my orders, and therefore must be the witnesses of my conduct in service, have been falling in battle and by disease by hundreds and thousands since the date of my arrest. So great have been the casualties, that the command from which I was taken is now reduced more than one-half. Very respectfully, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General. Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U.S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, September 30, 1862. GENERAL: Your letter of the 25th to the Adjutant-General of the Army has been referred to me for reply.
I learn from the Secretary of War that the order releasing you from Fort Ilamilton also released you from arrest. You therefore are no longer under arrest, but as you have not been assigned to me for duty, I can give you no orders.
I have no official information of the cause of your arrest, but I understood that it was made by the orders of the President. No charges or specifications are, so far as I can ascertain, on file against you.
The matter, I learn, is to be immediately investigated, and copies of charges, when preferred, will be furnished you by the Judge-AdvocateGeneral. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief. Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE, Washington.
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 1, 1862. GENERAL: At the time of my arrest and imprisonment, in February last, the oflicer who effected it (Brigadier-General Sykes) claimed to act under your order, although he exhibited no other authority than an armed force.
Under the eleventh section of the act of Congress approved July 17, 1862, it is made the duty of any officer who shall order the arrest of another to see that a copy of the charges be furnished to the arrested otficer within eight days of the date of the arrest; and by proviso the requirements of the section were made applicable to all officers under arrest at tbe date of the passage of the act.
Under this law I respectfully request that you will cause me to be furnished with a copy of the charges which led to my arrest, and which I have repeatedly asked for, through the ordinary channels of official communication, without success.
I have the honor to remain, general, with much respect, your most obedient servant,
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General. Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, U. S. Army, New York.
NEW YORK, December 5, 1862. GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st instant.
The order for your arrest in February last was given by the Secretary of War. I had the order in his handwriting several days before it was finally carried into effect.
When the order was first given by the Secretary, he informed me that it was at the solicitation of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War and based upon testimony taken by them.
On the evening when you were arrested I submitted to the Secretary the written result of the examination of a refugee from Leesburg: This information, to a certain extent, agreed with the evidence stated to have been taken by the committee, and upon its being imparted to the Secretary he again instructed me to cause you to be arrested, which I at once did.
At the time I stated to the Secretary that I could not from the in. formation in my possession understand how charges could be framed against yon; that the case was too indefinite.
On several occasions after your arrest I called the attention of the Secretary to the propriety of giving you a prompt trial, but the reply always was either that there was no time to attend to the case or that the Congressional committee were still engaged in collecting additional evidence in your case, and were not yet fully prepared to frame the charges. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. MCCLELLÁN,
Major-General, U. S. Army. Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE,
U. S. Volunteers, Washington, D. C. (NOTE. –On the receipt of General McClellan's letter of December 5, 1862, General Stone addressed a letter to him, asking that he might be furnished with the name of the Leesburg refugee referred to and a copy of his statement. The following reply was received:
Washington, D. C., December 10, 1862. GENERAL: I am directed by General McClellan to acknowledge the receipt of your note of December 8, 1862.
The name of the refugee he does not recollect, and the last time he recollects seeing the statement was at the War Department, immediately previous to your arrest. If he has a copy, it is among his official papers, which papers are en route for New York, and will be examined on his return, and if the paper referred to be found among them, he will fur. nish you with a copy. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. B. SWEITZER,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de. Camp. Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE, U. S. Volunteers.
(NOTE.—The statement referred to within has not up to this date been furnished me.
CHAS. P. STONE,
Brigadier-General. MARCH 6, 1863.
Reply of the Secretary of War to resolution of House of Representatives.
Washington, December 12, 1861. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a resolution of the House of Representatives calling for certain information with regard to the disastrous movement of our troops at Ball's Bluff, and to transmit to you a report of the Adjutant-General of the U. S. Army, from which you will perceive that a compliance with the resolution at this time would, in the opinion of the General-in-Chief, be injurious to the public service. Very respectfully,
Secretary of War. Hon. G. A. Grow, Speaker House of Representatives.
Washington, December 11, 1861. SIR : In compliance with your instructions I have the honor to report, in reference to the resolution of the honorable the House of Representatives, received the 30 instant, “ That the Secretary of War be requested, if not incompatible with the public interest, to report to this House whether any, and if any, what measures have been taken to ascertain who is responsible for the disastrous movement of our troops at Ball's Bluff,” that the General-in-Chief of the Army is of opinion an inquiry on the subject of tbe resolution would at this time be injurious to the public service.
The resolution is herewith respectfully returned.
Adjutant-General. Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington.
Report of General G. T. Beauregard, C. S. Army, with congratulatory
HDQRS. FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Near Centreville, December 6, 1861. GENERAL : I have the honor to transmit with this the report of Brig. adier-General Evans of the battle fought by the troops of his command, near Leesburg, Va., on the 21st of October, 1861. I shall also inclose herewith lists of the killed and wounded * and the reports of the separate regimental and battalion commanders.
I have also to forward for the information of the War Department, and as a part of the history of the operations resulting in that battle, my letter of instructions to Brigadier General Evans, dated October 17, 1861. A map prepared by General Evans will be forwarded by hand. Respectfully, your obedient seryant,
General, Commanding. General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
HDQRS. FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Near Centreville, October 17, 1861. COLONEL : Your note of this date has been laid before the general, who wishes to be informed of the reasons that influenced you to také up your present position, as you omit to inform him. The point you occupy is understood to be very strong, and the general hopes you will be able to maintain it against odds should the enemy press across the river and move in this direction. To prevent such a movement and junction of Banks' forces with McClellan's is of the utmost military importance, and you will be expected to make a desperate stand, falling back only in the face of an overwhelming enemy. In case, unfortu. pately, you should be obliged to retire, march on this point and effect a junction with his corps.
If you still deem it best to remain at Carter's Mill, the general desires you to maintain possession of Leesburg as an outpost by a regiment without baggage or tents, and to be relieved every three or four days.
As you may be aware, this army has taken up a line of triangular shape, with Centreville as the salient, one side running to Union Mills, the other to Stone Bridge, with outposts of regiments 3 or 4 miles in advance in all directions and cavalry pickets yet in advance as far as Fairfax Court-House. Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General. Col. N. G. EVANS, Commanding at Leesburg, Va. * A tabular statement, compiled from those lists, appears as report No. 22, p. 353.