Today in History:

5 Series I Volume XLVII-II Serial 99 - Columbia Part II


5 actual starvation, and other officers report that public and private horses of the command are without forage. Must this be allowed when forage is within six miles of us ~ Is there no possible expedient we can resort to in order to get a supply ~ Are there no inlets where we can land ~rage~ Are there no eats nor small boats in which we can bring grain ashore ~ Be assured, general, that my officers and men, and myself, are at your service willing to work night and day. I am held responsible by my command for these things; my only alter- native is to apply to you. I do not wish to oppose you, but to assist you in every way in my power. Respectfully, 0. 0. hOWARD, Major- General. HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH CORPS, Savannah, Ga., January 1, 1865. Brig. Gen. W. T. WARD, Commanding Third Division: GENERAL: I am directed by the general commanding to say that the steamer Planter will be assigned for the transportation of your division to-morrow. He wishes the balance of your command pushed over in the boats to-morrow as rapidly as possible. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, ROBT. P. DECHERT, Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant- General. HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Savannah, January 2, 1865. Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.. SIR: I have just received from Lieutenant-General Grant a copy of that part of your telegram~ to him of 26th December, relating to cotton, a copy of which has been immediately furnished to General Easton, my chief quartermaster, who will be strictly governed by it. I had already been approached by all the consuls and half the people of Savannah on this cotton question, and my invariable answer has been that all the cotton in Savannah was prize of war and belonged to the United States, and nobody should recover a bale of it with my consent, and that as cotton had been one of the chief causes of this war it should help to pay its expenses; that all cotton became tainted with treason from the hour the first act of hostility was committed against the United States, some time in December, 1860, and that no bill of sale subsequent to that date could convey title. My orders were that an officer of the Quartermasters Department, U. S. Army, might furnish the holder, agent, or attorney a mere certificate of the fact of seizure, with de scrip- tion of the bales, marks, & c., the cotton then to be turned over to the agent of the Treasury Department to be shipped to New York for sale. But since the receipt of your dispatch I have ordered General Easton to make the shipment himself to the quartermaster at New York, where you can dispose of it at pleasure. I do not think the Treasury Depart- ment ought to bother itself with the prizes or captures of war. See Vol. XLIV, p. 809.