To Nathaniel P. Banks
April 5, 2014 Leave a comment
Major General Banks Washington, April 5. 1864.
I have received a letter from Gen. Charles P. Stone, indorsed by yourself, asking that a’some act, some word, some order may issue from the Executive which shall place my name clear of reproach &c.a” Nothing more definite than this is indicated as to what Gen. Stone desires me to do, or supposes I can do in the case. I can only state the facts of the case from memory, and, of course not with great minuteness or accuracy. Gen. Stone was arrested, as I now think, early in February 1862. Owing to sickness in my family, the Secretary of War made the arrest without notifying me that he had it in contemplation. Gen. McClellan was then General-in-chief, with Head Quarters at Washington, and Gen. Stone was commanding a Division twentyfive or thirty miles above on the Potomac. Learning of the arrest I inquired for the cause, and found it, or the evidence constituting it to consist of three classes. First, the evidence taken in writing by the Committee of Congress on the conduct of the War. The point supposed to be made by this against General Stone was that when before the committee at one time, and excusing himself for not having sent a force from one point to another during the battle in which Col. Baker was killed, he stated that the enemy had a redoubt or dirt fort on the route which could not be passed. Afterwards the committee, conceiving that Gen. Stone could have prevented the erection of that fort, and ought to have done so, called him before them again to inquire why he did not, and he then denied that there ever had been a fort at that place. I did not think the evidence, as read to me, made the point conclusively against the general; but that evidence, whatever it is, I suppose is still accessible.
Secondly, evidence taken and put in the form of a report by a detective of Gen. McClellan.
Presumably this letter was never completed or sent.