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RELATING TO A
" i \
(NOT) WITH GENERAL BUTLER,"
BUT IN NEW YORK.
Audi alteram partem.
I, o w E r. L
CHARLES HUNT, PRINTER, liXCUANUE BJ ILDINO.
1 8 C 5,
Pass u uOy
KELATIN'G TO A
(NOT) WITH GENERAL BUTLER/
BUT IN NEW YORK.
Audi alteram -partem.
1:HAULES flUNT, PRISTEK, EXCHANGE BUILDING.
Lowell, Mass., July 22, 18G5.
Right Rev. Thomas M. Clark, Bishop of Rhode Island.
Dear Sir, — On the second of November last, you wrote
to me calling attention to the arrest of Chaplain Henry N.
Hudson, asking his release, if consistent with public duty,
at the same time calling my attention to statements of sup-
posed facts as to his confinement.
As I had released him from imprisonment before your
note was received, farther reply to it at that time seemed
not to be required. Subsequently, however, a pamphlet
has been published by him, wherein like misstatements to
those made to you are set down.
Your knowledge of me from my earliest boyhood ; your
uniform kindness toward me ; your high position in that
ministry and church of which Hudson rightly claims him-
self to be an "unworthy member," all concur to induce
me to lay before you, in a few words, all my connection
with Hudson, so that at least I may have place in your
good opinion, which I have long cherished as a high stand-
ard of criticism for my conduct in life.
I therefore send you copies of all the official documents
in relation to Chaplain Hudson, with a full report of my
Provost Marshal. From these it will be seen that every
charge of ill treatment, official or personal ill conduct, to-
ward Chaplain Hudson, is untrue in fact.
You Avill not expect me to answer or retort the scurril-
ous language of the Chaplain's production. Neither shall
T make use of the material so amply furnished me and in
my possession, to show his utter worthlessness of personal
character, and other unfitness for the appointment which
Governor Seymour conferred upon him, for if I have real-
ly done h'm wrong, it is no answer for me to show that he
was a scoundrel before he was a Chaplain, as in the latter
capacity only he came under my supervision.
Stripped of the verbiage. Chaplain Hudson's complaints-
are, 1st. That I confined him in a "Ball Pen." 2d. That I
put him in a Magazine tent, liable to explosion, to torture,
if not to kill him. 3d. That I kept him so confined, know-
ing him to be innocent of all wrong, for a length of time^
for the purpose of oppres&ion.
As to the first charge, reiterated on every page, of con-
finement in a " Bull Pen," you will be surprised to learn
that there was no enclosure whatever around the tent or
camp, wherein Chaplain Hudson was confined. That his
tent, until he was removed to a building, after cold weather
set in, was precisely like that of each of my Staff Officers
and was situated in the same field with theirs, not sixty
yards from my own tent ; and the only restraint the Chap-
lain suffered was not being allowed to leave the Camp.
Any body saw him that chose ; he received and sent away
anything he chose ; wrote anything to anybody ; and the
only request as to a change in his condition ever made by
him to me was to be allowed to preach. This was refused,.
as I thought, and I doubt not the readers of his book will
think, that we had had enough of that.
>iccondIi/. As to torturing him in a magazine tent liable
"This the Chaplain alleges ho occupied only two days.
He was at first put into a large tent, which contained a few
shells and metallic cartridges, brought to me by the in-
ventor for an experiment. That was the only place in
which he could be sheltered for the night after he came.
This was without my knowledge, but had I known of the
<3ondition of the tent, I certainly should have ordered it,
as the place where he could be most comfortable.
These same shells had stood in my own tent more than
fifteen days, and had only been removed thence because I
needed the room to accommodate my business. A possible
explosion would have been as dangerous to myself and
Staff as to Hudson, exc-ept our final distination would
have been different.
The other charge is as easily met.
My first knowledge of Hudson was from an examina*
tion of a report of absent officers, July 1st, 1864, where I
f )und the Chaplain of the 1st N. Y. Engineers was absent
without leave, and I ordered his return to duty forthwith.
True, I had heard of a clergyman of that name who had
(juit his profession and retaken his old one to give strolling
readings of Ehakspeare, but I did not know that he had
come into the army. Some time afterwards I learned that
Hudson had left his post of duty and gone to New York,
on pretence of reading proof of a book being published by
General Gilmore for his private emolument, but really in
order to be out of the way to avoid an investigation into
the authorship of certain libellous publications, in which
the Chaplain and Gilmore were implicated, and which Gil-
more had denied.
When in New York, on the first of September following,
the fact was brought to my notice that Hudson was lurk-
ing about the country, Imving received my order to retura
to duty and refused to obey it.
As his pretext for absence was equally invalid as the
true reason, and as be had refused to obey orders for two
months witho^ut explanation, and been absent from duty
from May 29th to September, on my return to the army I
issued an order for his arrest and return, under guard if
Upon his examination, a copy of which, taken in short
hand, will be found in Lieut. Davenport's report, Hudson
confessed in substance that he wrote a libellaus article up-
on myself, submitted it to Gilmore, and Gilmore on being
asked by myself, had denied any knowledge of the fact.
Hudson was by him sent out of the Department, lest their
complicity should be discovered.
That this was, on the part of both, the grossest violation
of duty, none need be told, even if the pretense of busi-
ness on which Hudson was sent at New York was true.
His guilt being confessed, a trial to ascertain it would
be but a form.
Telling Hudson, at the time, that I could not dispose
of his case because it was complicated with an offense
personal to myself, I ordered him to await trial, under
close arrest, because he had disobeyed orders and refused
to return to duty.
The movements of the army gave me no time to organize
a Court proper for his trial, even if I had the power ;
being in the light of prosecutor, and then other and more
important objects took my attention than Chaplain Hudson.
In the meantime. Chaplain Hudson was kept confined
with as little restraint as possible, consistent with safe
keeping, until, upon the representation of some gentle-
men, while in New York, at the time of the Election, and
because I had been ordered there on duty for an indefinite
period, so that I might not be able to have him tried,
I ordered his release from confinement, but retained him
in his regiment to be tried.
Afterwards, in my absence at the South, Chaplain
Hudson obtained leave of absence from General Grant,
and went home, where he resigned a commission he
ought never to have held, and the duties of which he
did not perform.
You will not expect me to reply farther to the Chaplain
than by this plain statement of facts. Indeed, I have grave
doubts whether I should have replied at all. Loyal and
true men who desire to think well of me as rendering ser-
vice to the country^ will do so in spite of the Chaplain's
abuse. The disloyal, and those who carp at every act of
officers who have offered their labors and lives to defeat the
rebellion, would not believe in the integrity of my actions,
although one should rise from the dead to vouch for them.
Washington was accused of selecting a site for the Capi-
tal which bears his name, as a land speculation.
Jackson was placarded in the streets of London as a
"beast," and a humble lover of his country can well ben r
Meanwhile I rejoice in the belief that I am hated and
contemned by every rebel and traitor and their sympathi-
sers, and vilified and abused by every incompetent officer
of my army whom I have punished. But I humbly hope
that the faithful and deserving officers of my command
will bear witness to my endeavor to do my duty to the
army and the country, and loyal and just and true men
will accord to me a portion, at least, of the high motives
of patriotism and honor which inspired their own hearts to
uphold the Union in the bitter struggle for its life.
Most truly your friend and servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER.
Lowell, Mass , June 20, 1865.
John I. Davenport, Esq.
My dear Sir, — Altliougli not under my command, be-
cause of your honorable discharge from the Army after
meritorious services, yet may I call upon you to perform a
semi-official duty ?
Have you seen a pamphlet circulated by one Hudson, a
former Chaplain, who was under your charge as Assistant
Provost Marshal of the Army of the James ?
If so, please report the facts and circumstances within
your information, concerning the matters treated of by
You are aware, I know, that I never saw Chaplain Hud-
son but once, and that was at the time he was under ex-
"Whatever happened to him must therefore have been in
pursuance of official orders, which you will please embody
in your Report.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
July 1st, 1865.
Maj. Gen'l Benj. F. Butler, Lowell, Mass.
My dear General, — I have recently seen a scurrilous
and abusive pamphlet, of some sixty-six pages, entitled,
''A Chaplain's Campaign with General Butler," published
hy one Henry N. Hudson, late Chaplain in the First
New York Volunteer Engineers.
Being in possession of the facts of which the Chaplain
claims to speak, and also of the most of the documentary
evidence in his case, and being aware that you, General,
never saw him but once, for a short period, at the time
of his examination by yourself, or had aught to do with
him save indirectly, and that through myself as Assistant
Provost Marshal of the Army of the James, I willingly
avail myself of an opportunity to make to you a full re-
port of all that I know in regard to Chaplain Hudson, his
case, his arrest, his confinement, and his treatment, as a
matter of simple justice, knowing, as I do, how largely
his story has been made the suhject of newspaper gossip and
public talk, so that the public, to whom Chaplain Hudson
has " appealed ", shall know what mann'^T of man he is,
and how basely and grossly he has misrepresented facts.
About the first of July, 1864, it was first officially
])rought to your notice that Chaplain Hudson was absent
from his regiment and post of duty. You at once directed
inquiry to be made as to his whereabouts, and the reason
of his absence. From your conversation at the time, I
learned that prior thereto, you had never seen or known
him, or of him.
Upon searching the records of the department, no
*' leave of absence," or anything to throw light upon his
absence could be found. Inquiry was thereupon made of
Brig. General Brooks, commanding the 10th army corps,
(General Gihnore having been relieved), and it was found
that the Chaplain was North, under an order issued by
General Gilmore on the 20th day of May, which order
never passed through, or received approval, at your Head-
quarters, as it should have done.
At the same time that these inquiries were thus being
made, it was reported to you, from New York, that the
Chaplain was in that city, having apparently nothing to
do, and doing that well. In order to bring him back, the
following Special Order was issued and sent him, through
his Colonel, who was then in New York, upon "special
Headquarters Department Yirgixia and North Carolixa,
Ix the Field, Ya., July 3, 18G4.
IV. Chaplain Hudson, 1st New York Volunteer Engineers, now in New
York, on business, will return without dela.v to duty with his regiment.
By comuiaud of Maj. Gex. Butler.
(Signed) K. S. DAVIS,
A.isi. Adjt. General.
This order. Colonel Serrell afterwards informed you, he
gave to Chaplain Hudson.
Nothing further was thought of the matter, as it was
supposed that the Chaplain had obeyed your order, and
returned to duty with his regiment.
Sometime during the following month, August, it was
oificially brought to your notice that he had not obeyed the
order, but was still absent without leave.
About the first of September, being myself with you at
New York, for a few days, you there learned that the Chap-
lain was still North, where he had been amusing himself in
traveling in Eastern New York and Western Massachusetts
for more than three months, while his regiment was in the
field in face of the enemy. On returning to the front, it
being found that a peremptory order to him " to return to
duty with his regiment," had no effect, by your direction
I wrote and sent the following telegram to Colonel Serrell.
IIeadquarteus Department Virgixia axd North Carolina,
Army of the James,
In the Field, September 13, 18C-t.
Col. Edward W. Serrell,
57 West Washington Place, New York.
Find Chaplain Hudson of 3'our regiment, who is ordered to report to his
regiment, wlio has failed to obey the order. Take his parole in writing that
he will report here forthwith. If he fails to give his parole, have him sent
here under guard.
Your special attention is called to the execution of this order.
(Signed) BENJ. F. BUTLER,
Major- General Commanding.
In accordance with this instruction, Colonel Serrell did
find Hudson, gave him your orders, and at six o'clock and
thirty minutes in the afternoon of the same day, (Sept.
13 th), Hudson gave Colonel Serrell his parole " to report
forthwith at the Headq^uarters of the Department."
How promptly Colonel Serrell obeyed his orders may be
seen from the fact that in his official report of his action,
he states " within an hour after the receipt of the order,
it was executed and the parole given."
At about half-past six on the evening of the 19th, six
days afterwards, (the trip could be made in thirty-six
hours), Chaplain Hudson reported himself at Headquarters.
Before the order of Sept. 13th was sent, however, you
had ascertained wiih certainty that Chaplain Hudson was
the author of certain statements, which first appeared iu
the columns of the New York Evening Post, on or about
the 21st of May, 1864, and which were copied into most
of the leading journals of the country, which statements
reflected very calumniously and unjustly upon your action
in the command of your army at the battle of Proctor's
Creek, in front of Drury's Bluff, Va., and cited General
Gilmore as authority for the criticism.
These statements, as will he seen by the note of General
Gilmore to you, were untrue, and defamatory, calculated
to hold up to public hatred and contempt the acts of his
military superior, in direct yiolation of Article XXVI of
the Army Regulations, prohibiting all criticisms, either
public or private, by a subordinate oificer upon the acts of
The article in the Post, purporting to come from the
10th Army Corps, was copied into the Herald, where it
was first seen by yourself, the 2Gth of May, whereupon the
following letter was sent to General Gilmore, then in com-
mand of that Corps.
1Ikadquai:tei!S Dei'autmext Viugima and Noktii Cakolixa,
In tiik Field, Ya., May 26, 18G4.
General,— I see by an article in the New York Herald, said to be " derived
from authentic sources," that "General Gilmore earnestly advised him (me)
to make bis (my) position secure by intrcnchmonts against sorties, or any
movements of the enemy to oust (him) me from them," when before Fort Dar-
■ ling, and that I answered " that I could not pause for defensive preparation."
This is the first I ever heard of this. Did you, or do you authorize it?
Please answer and correct an injustice.
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) BENJ. F. BUTLER,
Major- General Commanding.
P. S. I send the article by my Chief of Staff, who will take answer.
(Signed) B. F. B.
Major Geneual Q. A. Gilmore, Com'dg 10th Army Corps.
To this General Gilmore returned the following :
Headquarters 10th Army Conrs,
May 2G, 18G4.
SLvjor-General Butler, Commanding.
General, — In reply |o your note of this date, I beg leave to say that J
know not who the author of the editorial in the Herald of yesterday is, and
that I did not, and do not authorize it. I never advised you as stated. I
sent a Staff Officer to j'ou in regard to certain changes in the line, but there
was not time to make those changes, even if they had been ordered.
(Signed) Q. A. GILMORE, Major-General
This, and your letter to General Gilmore, were then
forwarded to the Editor of the New York Evening Post,
with the following note to him :
Hkadquakters Depautmext Virginia and Nonrn Carolina,
In the Field, May 27, 1864.
To the Editor of the Evening Post:
It is a rare occurrence for me to undertake to correct the misrepresenta-
tions of the press. I generally prefer to suffer. But a paragraph, an ex-
tract of which only I see, in the " Herald," has such a tendency to shake the
confidence of my command in the officer to whom the Government has seen
fit to entrust the direction of the operations here, and is as unjust, as well
to my own reputation, as to the reputation of General Gilmore, if he could
be supposed, for a moment, to advise such a stupidity in engineering and
military operations as that suggested in your article, that "to supply tae
ripe wants of a friend, I break a custom."
Upon seeing the article, a copy of which I enclose, I addressed the en-
closed note to General Gilmore and received the enclosed answer, official
copies of which I send you. You will make such use of them as your sense
of right and justice, to which I appeal, may dictate. I have great prefer-
ence, however, not to appear in print with any comments upon my military
operations, in ray own name.
You would do me a great favor, and subserve the cause of truth and jus-
tice, if you would give me the name of your "authentic source."
I have the honor to be
, Your obedient servant,
(Signed; BENJ. F. BUTLER,
In response to this letter the editor of the Post published
General Gilmore's letter to you, but at the same time took
pains to remark that he "did not see how his authentic
source could be so mistaken."
It probably perplexed the Chaplain considerably to knov/
how you discovered that he was the author of the publica-
tion, for if he should ask the editor of *the Post, (and he
doubtless has long ago so done), he will learn that the ed-
itor did not fj\e you the information, although requested
so to do.
This then was the condition of this affair at the time of
Chaplain Hudson's reporting at Headquarters. He was
known to be guilty,
I. Of a gross disobedience of orders in not returning
to duty with his regiment, as ordered, in violation of Par-
agraph I, Article I, Army Regulations.
II. Of a gross violation of Article XXVI, Army Eegu-
lations, in writing the letter to the Post.
III. Of stating as fact, that which was false, so found
by General Gilmore's letter to you.
IV. Of having deserted his post of duty in* the face of
the enemy without proper authority, and so remaining ab-
sent from his post, after being ordered to return — an of-
fence for which many a private soldier has been " shot to
death with musketry."
Of these criminal acts he was known to be guilty — no
further proof of these were needed. These would justify
the severest punishment. But you believed General, that
these were not a// of the crimes of which Chaplain Hudson
was guilty. '
Chaplain Hudson reported to me on the evening of Sept.
19th, when in the usual course of business, I took him to
your tent for examination. Upon being informed who he
was, you directed him to a seat, and stated that you desired
to hear from him such an explanation as he desired to
make, in relation to his conduct in disobeying the order of
July 3rd, and that perhaps, under the circumstances, the
easiest way of ascertaining the facts would be by answer-
ing your questions.
Let me say here, that on page 16 of his Pamphlet,
Chaplain Hudson says, that there was a "Lieutenant, a
short-hand writer, sitting behind the table, who kept writ-
ing all the while, evidently taking us down." This was
the fact. J was the "Lieutenant" to whom he refers,
and did "takedown" just what was said on the occa-
sion, and here, therefore, I insert from my phonographic
notes, a true and complete copy of
CHAPLAIN HUDSON'S EXAMINATION.
Question.— Why have you been away so long from your command?
Answeu. — I have had sickness and death in my family. I had two little
boys — one of them died, and my wife was clear broken down ; I have also
been sick myself. I went home under orders from General Gilmore. This
was on the 29th of May.
Q. — What did General Gilmore send you to New York for?
A. — I went to superintend the printing of some documents of General
Gilmore's that were then in press; his book about affairs in the Depart-
jiient of the South — at Charleston and Morris Island. General Gilmore was
to send me on special instructions. I afterwards heard that my little boj'
was sick, and General Gilmore gave me an order to enable me to go to my
family. The book of General Gilmore's was to be published by Van Nos-
trand & Co., New York, and 1 wrote to Van Nostrand after I got home to
know if any instructions had come. Mr. Van Nostrand said there had not^
and they never did come. In the meantime General Gilmore was relieved.
My family were at Northampton, Mass. As soon as I could, I came to New
York for instructions. I found Colonel Serrell, and he told me your order
was for me to return. Your order was dated July the third. I went then
and asked Colonel Serrell where the headquarters of the regiment were, and
where I should report. He said, "I don't know Chaplain; I don't know but
I am as much headquarters as anything. I don't know where they are, they
are so scattered about."
Q. — You were to ^'return to duty with your regiment ?"
A. — Yes sir, but I went to him to get advice as to where I should report.
He said, "Eeally,I don't know where headquarters now are." The next day
I got advices that Mrs. Hudson was worse than she had been. I then went
to the Colonel again, and he told me he could not give me permission to go to
her ; that he could not overrule your order ^ and that I must ^'return to ditty,'^
I then went nojiE, and I have been in bad health since. Last summer I had
bilious intermittent fever, and I had to take a great deal of quinine and blue
pills, &c., and I thought then I should have to get out of the service; so I
went to see General Dix, after I got my order to return to duty, to see if 1
could not get my resignation accepted, and he told me I would have first to cor,ie
here in accordance with my order — that you could not accept it until I had re-
'Q.— "Well, Chaplain, let me call your attention to another paft of this mat-
ter. In the first place, some time in May you wrote a communication to the
Evening Post, of New York, commenting very hatshly nnd unjustly upon my
military conduct at the battle of Drury's Bluff ?
A.— I wrote a private letter to Parke Godwiu, the Editor, which he after-
Q.— And to get rid of the consequences of that, General Gilmore, after
first having publicly denied that he ktreW anything of the letter or the author,
sent you away to attend to some private business for him?
A 1 don't know that. On Saturday, the tweniy-eighih of May, I saw Gon-
ef al Gilmore at his headquarters, atrd he told me he desired me to go to New
York for him, and see about the pilblishing of his book at Van Nostrand's.
That evening, after I saTv General Gilmore, I got a telegram informing me
of the sickness of my little boy.
Q.— General Gilmore, sir, is an • *, He sent you away on a
A. — That was not my fault.
Q._Stop talking, sir, and listen to me. On the 28th of May, General Gil-
more gives you, the writer of that letter, permission to go North — aye, to go
Notth on pretended business, and that of a private nature entirely, and for
him, in order that his complicity in the matter may not be discovei-ed.
A. — I don't kiiozn, sir. I only know that I wrote a private letter to Parke
Godwin, which was published in the Post.
Q.— Do you not know that General Gilmore denied all knowledge of that
letter or its author?
A.-^Yes sir^, 1 am aware of General Gilmore's note to you.
Q. — Did not General Gilmore know of your writing that letter before it was
A.^^I don't know (hesitatingly).
Q. — Did he not know of it before it was sent ?
A. — I think so.
Q. — Do you not know thai he did f
A. — Tes sit.
Q.^And before you went*
A.^^ Yes sir.
Q,.—^And was not that the reason of ki-s sending yon awsry ?
A.-^l can't say that 1 know it was.
Q. — Don't you know that Was the reason?
A r-I thought at the time that it was.
■Q. — ITad you amy doubt in your own Wvind on ihi subject ?
A. — I did not know how necessary the business was that General Gilmore
pfofessedly sent me on. I thought that was the reason of his sending me atcay.
I had but little conversation icith General Gilmore.
* An epithet was used here more fbrclblc'than polished.
Q.— From whom did you get the facts that you undertook to gfve in your
letter to the Post?
A.— I got them from some of the officers in our regiment.
Q.— From whom, sir?
A. — The Colonel first told me of some of them, I think.
Q Have you taken your pay as an officer for the time you have been loaf-
in ; and lying around New York ?
A._I received ray pay to the first of July. I got it in New York on Gec-
eral Gilmore's order. Major Pratt paid it to me on the first or second of
.July. It is marked on the order somewhere. But General, you don't know
me, sir. I have always been friendly towards you, sir. I think you are a
very smart man.
Q.— Don't tell me that, sir. I don't want you or anyone else to think me
a smart man, and when a man tells me that he wrote such a letter as yon
. liave, and then that he was and is friendly towards me, he simply lies, sir,
and I tell you I won't be insulted by your fawning here. You wrote a let-
ter to the press in which you undertook to gfve your opinion of the con-
duct of a campaign of which you knew nothing; Then, when stir was made
about it, you was sent by General Gilmore to New York, on private business
for hira yes, on pretended business, of which there was no business wliat-
ever. There you remained without ever receiving any instructions as to bus-
iness, nor had you any busiaess theve, yet still you remained away till
General Gilmore was removed, as the * should have been long be-
fore, because this transaction stamps hira a * in addition to being
incompetent. He used his power and the public money to keep an ofiker
away from his post and his duties, for private purposes solely.
A.— I expected some business, all the time. I wrote to Van Nostrand to
know whether he had received any orders from General Gilmore for me.
Q. After you knew that Gilmore was removed, you were aware that you
neither had or could feave, any d»ty or business in New York or North ?
A,— I was expecting some oi-ders still, after General Gilmore was removed.
I did as well as I know how.
Q.— Then why, after the third of July, being "ordered to return lo duty
with your regiment," did you remain away without excuse?
A.— I had sickness in my family.
Q._You knew, and know very well,, that that was no excused
A. — I supposed it was.
Q._You stultify yourself, sir, when you say that.
\._Do you remember, General, that I am a bereaved man. I have lost
my son by sickness.
Q Do you think you are the only bereared man? I ai30 «m one.
A.— I think every man is to be respected, sir.
* An epithet was used here more forcible tbraa polished.
<Q.— Not unless be behaves well. When did your child die ?
A. — On the second of June.
IJ. — What have you been doing since; it is now the month of September?
A. — My wife and I have both of us been sick. I could not come.
Q. — When I got my hand on you, you came quick enough. Do you sup-
pose, sir, that because your child died on the second of June, you could re-
main away from your duty, drawing, and expecting to draw your pay, until
the 19th of Septjomber,
A.— I sent my resignation in on the first of September. ' I mm aware that
ray course, as it appears to you, is wrong.
Q. — Tell me the man of common intelligence to whom it would not appear
wrong, and I will send you to him to be tried. You have violated my pri-
vate feelings as well as military law, and because of this I do not think I
am in a condition to make personal disposition of your case. You are not
the greatesit criminal. You are the cat's paw that Oen«ral Gilmorehas used
to pull the hot chestnuts out of the fire. Lieutenant Davenport, confine
Chaplain Hudson somewhere at headcjuarters till disposition can be made of
his case. Send for his trunk. Put Mm by himself, apart from the other
On page 16 of his Pamphlet, the Chaplain adds, in ref-
•erence to my taking notes, the following :
" I could not help fearing," &c., " left the sequel of all this should be, a
Eutlerized version of our int'erview, published to the world."
As a ^^ Butler ized version" of any transaction, in m/
experience is always the party's own words and the official
documents and records of his own acts, perhaps this ex-
amination may come under that title. But if " Butler-
ized " in any other sense than this, General, you certainly
are not to blame for it, for I know that since it was taken
<lown until you may read it here, you have never seen
either my Phonographic minutes of it, or any written out
report, as I never have written one until I was compelled
so to do for the purpose of inserting it here. What it is,
is just what it purports to be — nothing more — nothing less.
It is an official record of an official examination of <in in-
ferior officer (one Chaplain Hudson) by his Commanding
General, instituted' for the puTpose of ascertaining why
such inferior officer had disobeyed the lawful orders of his
superior, and committed other gross violations of military
laws, orders and regulations, and also if there was reason-
able ground to believe that the accused person ought to be
sent before a Court Martial for trial, and be kept under
arrest until the exigencies of the service would allow a
Court to be assembled.
It is also the record of an examination wherein the
statements of such inferior officer are made upon his-
<' honor as an officer and gentleman,'' which gives to them-
under military usage and custom, the force ^ solemnity and
strength of statements under oathy and is a record that
would be received in evidence by any Court were the
Chaplain on trial.
Now, as Chaplain Hudson has made several different
statements, his pamphlet letter to you being at least the third
I have seen, copies of all of which I have, I propose tc
compare them ; and by so doing, you will see^ General, not
only that he has told different stories about the same trans-
actions, but alsoy upon his examination before you, he
got a great deal nearer the truth than he has since been
able to do.
It should be remembered that the statements to you up-
on his examination, were made at a time when naturally
he would be desirous of presenting his case as favorably
a6 he coukl, and be likely to say all be could by way of
palliation or excuse for his conduct.
I will therefore compare the Chaplain's statements made
under the conditions and in the frame of mind which he-
appears t>o have been in on the 4th of Jantsaiy, 1865, (the
date of Ills pamphle't letter), with those made by him to his
•Commanding General, upon " his honor as an officer and a
gentleman," on the evening of September 19th, 1864.
On page 4 of his letter, it appears :
" Ou the 29th of May, General Gilmore ordered me to New York on spec-
ial duty; which duty, be said, was to superintend the printing of some offi-
cial matter to be published by Mr. Van Nostrand. The General, on giving
one the order, said he would senvl to the publisher for me, particular instruc-
tions in what I was to do. As I had, tJie night before, learned by telegraphy
that my sou William was very dangerously ill, the General gave me, at the
:same time, permission to go to my family in Massachusetts."
It will be jioticed although he here states that he
was ordered to New York on the 2Qth of May " on special
duty, &c.", that he very adroitly adds that "the nig'ht
l)efore the order was given " he heard that his *' son Wil-
liam was very dangerously ill," and that therefore Gen-
eral Gilmore gave him, " at the same time, permission to
go to his family," in Massachusetts.
The Chaplain evidently desires that it should be inferred
from this that General Gilmore, learning from him that his
son was sick, gave him an order to go to New York for
him (Gilmore) on the 29th of May, in order to permit
Hudson to go to his family.
This carefully covered implication might not be worth
noticing, were it not for the fact, that ever since his
(Hudson's) arrest, both himself and his friends for him,
have on several public occasions^ not only allowed it to be
inferred that his only errand home was to see a dying
child, but have positively and directly stated such to be
the faot- To show there can be no mistake in this matter
I will give a specimen instance of such statements.
In a memorial made by the Chaplain and on his behalf^
to the Secretary of War, (mentioned on page 32 of his
letter), a eopy of which with all the papers connectetS
therewith are now in my possession, and which memorial,
Stephen P. Nash of New York forwarded, are these
"His (Chaplain Hudson's) leave of absence was granted, hy reason of the
illness of his oldest son, who died before his arrivak"
This being now given as the cause of his absence, let
us look for a moment at the Chaplain's statements, made
upon his examination. There he said :
*'' On Saturday, the twenty-eighth of May, I saw General Gilmore at his
headquar|;ers, iand hd told me he desired me to go to Kew York for him, and
see about the publishing af his book at Van Nostrand's. That evening (the-
twenty ^eighth) after I saw General Gilmore, I got a telegram informing me
of the sickness of my little boy."
He also says in the examination i
'^'I afterwards heard that ray little boy wai; sick, and General Gilmore gave
me an order to enable me to see my family."
" I weht home under orders from General Gilmore. This was on the 29th
This was the fact. On the 28?A of May, General Gil-
more gave Hudson a verbal order to go to New York for
him (Gilmore). This Was before either knew of the son's
sickness (the 28th). During the evening of that day
(the 28th), after seeing General Gilmore and receiving from
him his verbal instructions, the Chaplain learned, by tele-
graph, of his son's sickness. This is his first knowledge of
if. The next day (the 29th), the Chaplain went to Gen-
eral Gilmore 's Headquarters to obtain his written order to
proceed to New York upon the General's business, as he
had been told to do the day before, and then first informed
(ireneral Gilmore of the illness. Hearing this, General
Oilmore gave the Chaplain permission to go from New
York, where he had the day before ordered him on his
business, to Boston, Massachusetts, to see his family.
Here is General Gilmore 's Special Order, which settles
this point :
HUADQUARTERS IOtii AR^^Y CORP.S
Ik the Field, xear Hatchers, Va.,
May 29, 1804.
Chaplain H. N. Hudson, 1st N. Y. Vol. Engineers will proceed to Now York
as early as practicable, and transact the business directed by the Major Gen-
By comraand of Major-General Q. A. Gilmore.
(Signed) ISRAEL R. SEALEY,
Capt. 47th N. Y. Vols.,
Ad. Asst. Adjt. Gen.
This order was issued in accordance with General Gil-
more's directions, the 28th, before the son's sickness was
known. On the 29th General Gilmore sent the Chaplain
the following letter :
Headquarters IOtii Army Corps,
AssT. Adjt. Gen.'s Office,
In the Field, near Hatchers, Va.,
May 21), 1864.
Chaplain H. N. Hudson, 1st N. Y. Vol. Engineers.
Sir, — I am directed by the Commanding General to express his assent to
your going from New York to Boston, on private business. This will be
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) ISRAEL R. SEALY,
Capt. i7th Vols., A. A. A. Gen. '
The Chaplain is ordered to New York *' to transact the
business directed by the General Commanding " (the lOth
Corps). What is tkat business? The Chaplain, when
asked upon his examination, replied :
" It was to superintend the printing of sonae documents of General Gi}-
more's that were in press ; his book about affairs in the Department of the
South — at Charleston and Morris Island. "^
In other words, to revise the printing o-f a book pub-
lished by General Gilmore, for his own profit, to advertise
his own exploits, a purely private enterprise. A Major
General in command of an Army Corps, without the au-
thority of his Departmental Commander, sends a Chap-
lain from his post of duty with his regiment, then under
fire, and his services needed, if ever, to New York on a
personal errand for the General, and this too known to the
Holy man, who draws his pay for more than three months
from the United States, while pretending to do General
Gilmore's own business. This is not all. The face of
General Gilmore's order bears the following endorsement:
• BALTiMOjiE, June 1, 18G4,
Transpr. furnished Bait, to New York, to Chaplain Hudson.
(Signed) CH. M. CUMMIXGS,
Captain and A. Q. ,1/,
Thus it appears, that General Gilmore permitted Chap-
lain Hudson to receive, and he did receive, transportation
at the expense of the Government, while traveling on the
General's business of a private character. Here is an-
other act of gross misconduct — aye, fraud on the Govern-
ment — upon the part of Chaplain Hudson.
But to return to the contradictions between the Chap-
lain's pamphlet letter and his statements on honor, On
pages four and five, he says :
" Early In July I was iu New York, aiul tliei-o received an order from you
(General Butler) remanding me to my regiment. As our Colonel was then
in the city, I called on him to know whore I should report. He replied,, in
efi'ect, that he could not tell, the regiment being so scattered that he hardly
knew where the Headquarters were. ' I do not know,' said he, ' but I am as
much the headquarters as anywhere.' The next day learned thfit ray wiie
was a great deal worse; and being somewhat jyerj^Iexed as to my duty, I ven»
lured to return to my family, where I was soon after so prostrated with ill-
ness as to be unable to travel."
Here is admitted the reception of the order of July 3rd
and his disobedience. Why should he have gone to his
Colonel at all? He says, "To know where I should re-
port." Your order told him to " return without delay to
your (his) regiment.'' He knew where he left it. He
does not pretend anywhere that he ever even heard of its
moving from Bermuda. His duty was to find his regiment,
and the place to find it was at the front. The Chaplain
never intended to obey the order. His only desire seemed
to be to remain at home, draw his pay and do nothing.
If he wished to go to work, by reporting at Headquarters
he knew he could learn where to find his regiment.
But further. What does the Chaplain do ? Let him
speak for himself :
" The next day I learned that my wife was a good deal worse, and being
somewhat perplexed as to my dut^"-, 1 ventured to return to my family ."
Referring to his examination will be found a little fuller
version of his conduct ;
"The fZrty q/ii!er I saw the Colonel, I got advices that Mrs, Hudson was
■worse than she had been, I went then to the Colonel again, and he told me
he could not gi^e me permission to go to her; that he could not overrule
your order, and that I must return to duty. I then went home."
He was ordered to " return without delay to duty with
his regiment." He went '^ horn:," We see further, that
the Chaplain was not •'' perplexed " as to his duty, as he
states in his pamphlet. In his examination, he does not
claim to have been "perplexed" as to his duty, but
states his Colonel told him he "must return to duty ;"
that he (the Colonel) could not give him permission to go to
his wife, and " could not overrule your order.*' There was,
there could be, no excuse for disobeying the order. It was
willfully, intentionally and designedly done, and now, he
has deliberately luritten what he knows to be false to palliate
his crime. Ilis perplexity was not as to what was his du-
ty, but as to how he could avoid doing it.
During his examination, when completely involved by
the contradictions of his own statements, as a last resort,
he pleaded ignorance. He claimed that he did the best he
knew how. It is shown that in this instance, at least, he
knew better, because his Colonel expressly informed him
upon this very subject. Before I am 4one, General, I think
I shall be able to show that he is not quite so " ignorant "
as at times he endeavors to lead people to suppose, or so
" simple " as some of his reverend brothers have claimed
to believe him to be. On page 5, he says :
"I went to New York, and on the first of September handed my resigna-
tion to Colonel Serrell, who said he would forward it to you (General But-
ler) and that he thought there was no need of my going to the seat of war."
Upon his examination, he said :
"I thought I would have to get out of the service (owing to feebie health),
and I went to see General Dix, after I got my order to return, to see if I
could not get my resignation accepted, and he told me I woqjd have first to
come here in accordance with ray order; that you could not accept it until
I had returned."
As he must return to duty, the Chaplain's study seems
to have now been to know how to get out of the service.
On pag^ 8th of the pamphlet, the Chaplain says :
"You insisted upon it, that I ([ludsou) had colluded -svith hira (General
Gilmorc) and knowingly lent myself to some naughty designs of his (Gil-
more's) against you."
Something very like collusion, at least, between Hudson
and General Gilmore has been shown in the matter of hav-
ing his transportation paid by Government, while Hudscn
was traveling upon Gilmore's business. It will further
appear that what the Chaplain says " you insisted upon,"
was really true, and that there was gross and criminal col-
lusion between them. Referring to the record of his ex-
amination, we find the following :
QuKSTiON. — Do you not know that General Gilmore denied all knowledge
of that letter (the letter of Hudson to the Editor of the Post) or its author ?
Answer. — Yes sir. I am aware of General Gilmoro's note to you.
Q. — Did not General Gilmore know of your w^riting that letter before it
' A.— I don't Arraoiy (hesitatingly).
Q. — Did he not know of it before it was seni ?
A. — I think so?
Q. — Do you not Icnow that he did ?
A. — Yes sir.
Q. — And before you went?
A. — Yes sir.
Does not this look like collusion? When a General
sends a Chaplain away from his duty on pretended busi-
ness, at Government expense, after denying that he knew
the Chaplain had written letters, the writing of which and
the General's knowledge being both admitted, there would
seem to be only one motive, i. e , to get the Chaplain out
of the way. But further, on the same page, the Chaplain
"In proof of my (liis) having conspired with him (General Gilraore) to
Jnjure j'ou, you alleged that his (Gilmore's) ordering me (him) to New York
ou special duty was a mere pretext for getting me (him) out of the way,
and that I (Hudson) knew it to be so."
Referring once more to the record of his examination,
we read :
Question. — And was not /7ia< (Gilraore's knowledge of Hudson's having
written the letter to the Post) the reason of his sending you away?
Answer. — I can't eay I know it was.
Q. — Bou't you know that was the reason?
A. — I thought at the time that it was.
Q. — Have you any douht in your own mind on the subject.
A. — I did not know how necessary the business was that General Gilmore
professedly sent me on. I thought that was the reason of his sending me away,
I had but very Utile conversation with General Gilmore.
What is this but collusion to deprive the Government of
the services of its officer for private reasons. With the
other it should be labelled— rascc/z'/?/ and collusion.
Still another collusive act may, I think, be shown. On
the back of General Gilmore's Special Order, No. 29,
sending the Chaplain to New York, I find the folluwing
endorsement, placed there May 29th, 1864; the day such
order was issued for the purpose of enabling the Chaplain
to draw his pay, while he was thus in New York, on Gen-
eral Gilmore's private business ;
Hl^APQUAUTERS IST N. Y. V. EXGINEEUS,
In the Field, Va., May 29, 1864.
Chaplain Henry X. Hudson was last paid by Paymaster Major W. J. Wood,
ftt Hilton Head, S. C, to February 29th, 1864.
(Signed) II. M. DALBYMPLE,
1st Lieut, and Adjutant \st N. Y. Vol. Engineers.
Following this, comes an endorsement of Major Usher,
Chief Paymaster of the Department, as follows : " Paid
to include April 30th, 1864."— (Signed) R. G, Usher,
P. M. U. S. A, Showing that he was paid up in full at
the time of his departure.
With the order sending him to New York on his (Gil*
more's) private business ; with his traveling expenses paid
for him to New York by the Government, on such order,
while traveling on Gilmore's account, we see him strength-
ened by that order and its endorsements to an extent which
will enable him to draw pay for services never performed,
and dutjj never done, while remaining thus away from his
post of duty under the pretence of doing private work for
General Gilmore. On the same order is also the follow
ing further endorsement, made in New York some time
after his arrival there: " Paid for May and June, '64.
(Signed) H. C. Pratt, P. M.," thus showing that Hudson
c??c(' receive pay upon this order of Gilmore's, and in his
examination will be found his admission of the fact, that
he was paid while away from his regiment, pretending to
transact Gilmore's business, but in reality doing nothing
whatever, but traveling about for his own gratification
I come now to consider his confinement and treatment.
At the close of the interview you said to me :
"Lieut. Davenport, confine Chaplain Hudson at headquarters somewhere^
Send for his tfunli, and put him alone by himself, apart from the other pris--
Upon receiving this order, I t-ook him to Captain Wat-
son, in charge of Headquarters Camp, and directed him
to confine Hudson alone bj/ himself. Captain Watson re-
plied to me that there Was no place in the Provost Camp,
where he could thus confine him, without he made use of
a large hospital tent (16 feet by 16) in which were tem-
porarlly, some two or three boxes of shells, that were
waiting for a trial of their merits, and some metallic car-
tridges belonging to a " Gatling Gun," which had been
placed there by my order. I said *' put him there then,
Captain. He will have plenty of room and be by himself."
This was done — Hudson remained in this tent two or three
da>/s^ when for an additional office for the Adjutant Gener-
al, it was moved, the shells and cartridges removed, and the
Chaplain transferred to a wall tent, pitched expressly for
him, by my orders, at one end of the camp, where he
could be by himself as much and onli/ as much, as he might
desire ; he having, in common with all the others confined
at the camp, a right to walk from his own tent into the
open space in front of the entire camp, keeping only with-
in the line of sentinels, there being no fence or enclosure
of any kind about the camp, or any part of it.
You will observe. General, that on almost every page of
his Pamphlet, the Chaplain, when speaking of his place
of confinement, calls it a ^^ Bull Pen i'* in order to give
the public the impression that he was turned into some
kind of a yard or enclosure, with a large number of other
prisoners, with whom he was obliged to associate, and that
there he was kept, as if herded with them.
That there was no enclosure of any kind about the Pro-
vost Camp, not even a rail or a rope placed around it, the
Chaplain knew when he made use of that word, and only
did so to mislead and exaggerate. My Provost Camp was
simply a number of tents, probably a dozen or more, some
large and some small, placed in a row at the southeasterly
corner of Headr^uarters Camp, with a line of sentinels at
a convenient distance around it.
It was for the Chaplain, and for him alone, to cleciJe
how much of his time he would spend hi his tent, and how
much out of it. And even tvhen airing himself I know of
no reason why he should associate, unless he chose to so
do, with those who might be prisoners with him in the
same camp, but from whom he could be as secluded as he
desired, none of them being allowed to go into the tent
assigned him unless he desired it. I mention these facts
thus minutely, because on page 24, the Chaplain endeav-
ors to convey the impression that he could have no priva-
cy, and says he was in great danger of having his "old
bones" laid " quite bare " by "the f^imiliar beast to
If he ever was annoyed by the "familiar beast,"
General, I am almost persuaded to be so uncharitable as to
believe that he brought them with him, as neither of the
tents he occupied had ever had anyone or anything in them
prior to his occupancy^ save the few shells and cartridges,
which are not usually infested by the " familiar beast."
Perhaps it would be well to remark here in passing,
that the wall tent occupied by the Chaplain was not more
than about sixty feet from the tent of one of your Staff,
nor more than that distance from the tent of Lieut. Mitch-
ell, of the Headquarter Guard. As before stated, no fence
or partition existed in or around any part of the camp.
On pages 16, 17, &c., of the Pamphlet, the Cliaplain
has seen fit to describe the large tent in which he was first
placed, as a " magazine tent," and both he and his friends
have several times charged, that he was confined in a tent
where he "was not only in danger of being blown up^''
but that your ferocity carried you so far as to place him
there " purposely, and with the hope that he would so be
On page 17 of tlio Pamphlet is a charge by the Chap-
lain, in these words :
"I presume the thifig (the 'magaziire tent') had been hit upon b}- 5'ou
(General Butler) as a novel engine of torture for certain select victims."
Again, on page 18 he says that you
«'I\ne\V that such an engine of tortbfe stood ready ill your prison pen, and
that thefe was no othei* unoceupled than that on the g¥-ound."
To the charge that he was ever confined in a " magazine
tent,'* as he calls it, I answer : that Chaplain Hudson knew
very well that the tent, in which he was^ to have been a
hospital tent, and that such a thing as a " magazine tent "
never yet was, or would for a moment be allowed in, about,
or near a General Officer's Headquarters.
This distinction that I have made between a " magazine
tent," as the Chaplain uses the word, and a hospital tent,
which held some few shells and cartridges, would seem on
toy part, like quibbling over a word, were it not General,
that every body understands perfectly well the reason icliy^
and the sense in which, Chaplain Hudson has used the
words "magazine tent."
Again then, let me repeat. The tent was a hospital
tent (16 feet by 16), placed where it was, for the purpose
of holding prisoners. After it was erected) the shells and
cartridges were placed in it temporarily, partly for safe
keeping, till such time as their merits might be tested,
but principally for a reason which will appear in a moment.
No prisoners^ previous to the Chaplain, had been placed
therein, because it had not been needed. It became neces-
sary for me to confine the Chaplain there. First — because
it was the only place I had to put him in. Second — be-*
cause it was the only place where he would not be incom-
moded by others.
Now, the idea of any accident occurring to him from
being placed therein, was one which was so remote as not
to be thought of, as the same shells, you well remember,
General, had lain for weeks in your own tent, where they
were left by the inventor, after showing them to you, and
it was to give you the additional room therein, which you
badly needed, that they were removed. The Chaplain
admits, on page 17, that he was only kept in this " mag-
azine tent" TWO DAYS. Those same shells were in your
tent more than that number of weeks. There was another
fact in connection with this matter, which was patent to
all, viz : that if an explosion should ever happen, not only
the Chaplain, but you. General, your Staff, and all at Head-
quarters, would be as seriously affected thereby as Avould
he ; for your own tent was not over sixty yards, and no
part of Headquarters Camp over two hundred yards from
his place of confinement ; and as before stated, separated
from it by no fence or screen — nothing save a line of
For one, / saw no risk in putting the Chaplain there.
That the danger was slight the Chaplain admits on page
18, as follows :
" From the way the men tossed and banged the shells about, in the process
of removal, it appeared that the Greek fire, if there was any in them, had
gone too fast asleep to be waked up by any ordinary disturbance."
The Chaplain's statement as given above, that you
** knew that such an engine of torture stood ready in your
prison pen, and that there was no other unoccupied tent
on the ground," I know you will read with surprise, as
providing quarters for my prisoners under my charge was
not your busiiiess. It was my daty, and therefore, when-
ever I needed tents, I had but to send for them, and the
matter could never come before you in any way. Indeed
I know that you were not aware that I had such a tent in
my Provost Camp, or where the shells had been placed.
When you ordered a prisoner into my custody, it was
my business to keep him, and that safely, and in particu-
lar cases, under such restrictions and orders, as might be
specially given, and to that end, I was to see the ways
and means provided. It cannot be supposed by any one,
tiiat you, with your many important and diversified labors
as Commander of a Department comprising two of the
largest Southern States, with several unruly cities therein
to be managed and governed ; with an offensive army of
forty thousand odd men to handle, lead and control; and
with the arduous duties of Commissioner of Exchange,
with the multitudinous questions daily and hourly arising
therefrom, (and all these I know were but a portion of
your daily individual cares) could watch my Provost camp,
and know exactly when and how, each or any of the tents
therein were erected — whether the number was at any
time added to, or diminished — whether there was one or
more in a tent — or any other matters of this nature, which
were strictly my duties as Provost Marshal.
In the wall tent the Chaplain remained until after the
advance of the Army, and consequent change of Head-
quarters, in October, when he, with the other prisoners,
was removed to our new camp. Here I was obliged for
some time to use, for my Provost Camp, a small two-story
building and the ground immediately surrounding it. The
building was not what the Chaplain (page 33) describes
tt, viz : "an uncleaned stable, the beasts having lately
been taken out to make room for us men."
The Chaplain is as unfortunate, and I charge wilfully
so, in his description of this building as of the former
camp. The building had never been used as a stable, and
no beast that is stabkd, had ever been in it. It had been
used for the storage of vegetables, fodder, and farming
implements — nothing more. My own <iuarters were so
close to it, and to the guards surrounding it, that I could,
sitting in the farthest corner of my large office tent, in an
ordinary tone of voice, readily speak to and call any one
confined therein, and hear all conversation above a whis-
per carried on by those cenfined.
Here Hudson remained until released by your order,
during my absence with you, while you were in command
of New York, in November 1864.
On page 18, the Chaplain, after complaining of his con-
finement and treatment, says that I was the officer under
you who had the charge of him, and that I " knew your
secret mind^ understood just what you wanted him (myself)
to do with me (him) and was perfectly sure that you would
uphold him (me) in what he (I) did, however you might
make as though you did not mean it."
The only reply (and that is a very effectual one) that
can be made to this charge, is, as you will remember, the
fact, that the simple order you gave me at the time of the
Chaplain's examination, and in his presence, which will
be found in the record, was the onli/ oixler that you ever
gave me, after his arrest, either in relation to him, his
confinement, or his treatment, sav€i that once you spoke ta
me in relation to his trunk.
It is needless, I know, for me to say that all tlie Cliap-^
Iain's insinuations that there was any understanding, either
implied or otherwise, between you and myself, that he was
to be dealt with, or treated in any manner, other than as
what he was, an officer under arrest, for confessed disobe-
dience of orders, for confessed collusion with another, to in-
jure the reputation and character of his superior officer,
(who did not think him in this matter, the worse of the
two), for fraud in taking transportation at the expense of
the Government, and receiving pay while traveling on pri-
vate business for another, and remaining absent from his
post on such pretended business for more than three
months, and for various other violations of military laws,
orders and regulations, are false.
Indeed, as I understood the case, and my position and
4iities, if I erred at all, it was to be on the side of kind-
mess, as a portion of his offences were of a nature personal
to yourself, and I thought great care should be taken, to
see that his treatment, while under arrest, and awaiting
trial, partook of nothing that might be construed into vin-
■dictiveaess, upon the part of yourself, or of those acting
under you. And it was with this idea that all orders I
gave in reference to him were issued, and I know that a
difference was made in his favor on this account.
On pages 18 and 19, Chaplain Hudson says, that "your
habitual craft" consists "in managing to throw off upon"
those under you "the scandal and blame of" your "prac-
tices." This charge is so well known by all who ever served
tinder you, to be untrue, and in direct opposition to the
common remark often made by those who knoiv you, viz.,
that you " never shirk or shift a responsibilitt/," that there
can be no necessity for further noticing it.
I admit, General, that tlie Chaplain's bed was, as he
states, the ground. So also were the beds of some of your
staff, during not only the same time, but throughout the
entire campaign. I know of no reason why I should be
expected to furnish him with a bed. My own for a long
time was but a plank, laid on the ground.
As to the charge that he was deprived of his trunk.
The Chaplain, page 20, says he requested me to let him
have it ; that I sent him word the trunk should be brought
to him, and that he expected it and was disappointed.
Again, on page 22, he refers to the same matter, and
tendering me his " compliments" through you, deigns to
read me a little moral lecture, remarking that I *' ought,
at least, to have respected my own word."
Referring now to the record of his examination, it will
be seen that, in his presence, you ordered me to "send
for his trunk." That I might comply with the order, I
first learned from him that he believed it to be on the
wharf, near the steamboat landing, on the Appomattox
river ; and there I sent an ambulance the same night, with
a detailed man and a driver, to hunt it up. The man re-
turned at about half-past nine, P. M., and reported that
it could not be found. Of this the Chaplain was in-
formed. Thinking, however, that in the darkness, my
men might have gone to the wrong landing, as there were
several on the river, and all near one another, I sent them
again on the following morning, and the same answer was
returned. During that day (the 20th) I received a note
from the Chaplain, asking that his trunk might be given
him. In reply to this, I sent him word of the further, but
as yet, unavailing search therefor. Deeming it possible
that the trunk might have been carried down the river bj
the steamer, that morning, as she had gone before my men
arrived there, and being unwilling to give up the search
for it, I sent, for the third time, upon the return of the
boat in the afternoon. Still no signs of it could be found.
-On the morning of the third day of his arrest (the 21st)
you sent for me, and handed me a note which he had sent
you, asking again for his trunk. I then stated to you what
had been done in the premises. You replied, "Try once
more, and to make it certain, go yourself." This I did,
but met with no better success.
These are the facts in relation to the search for his trunk,
and from them it will be seen that I did " respect my own
word ' ' and did all I could.
A few words now as to why Chaplain Hudson was not
tried. Owing to the fact, as appears by the record of his
examination, and as you then very fairly told him, that a
portion of his offences were of a nature so personal to
yourself that you did not see very well how you could
order a Court to try him, as its decision would necessarily
be reviewed and approved, or disapproved by yourself,
thus placing you in the position both of prosecutor and
then of reviewing officer, you doubted whether you ought
to order a Court to pass on his ease.
He was afterwards told that at the earliest opportunity
you would examine the law on the subject, and his and
your position and rights thereunder, but at that time, in
the field, and situated as you then were, you could not im-
mediately so do.
Following at once upon his arrest came the preparations
for movements and engagements of your army, during
the last of September and the first of October ; followed
in turn by the same preparations and further move-
ments in October, succeeded immediately thereafter by
your call to Washington by the Government, and your
absence during your command in New York, during the
lirst half of November.
While in New York a number of the Chaplain's friends
called at your Headquarters, and desired to know the facts
in Hudson's case. All, or nearly all, of those thus calling,
were informed of them by you. Col. Serrell, and myself.
Of those whom I saw and conversed with, and they were
most of those who thus came, quite, if not all, expressed
themselves satisfied with the facts as they there learned
them, and with the justness of his arrest.
Still, as some of them appeared to fear that he would
fret himself into a state of nervous debility, you. General,
out of deference to their friendship and fears, sent to Gen-
eral Terry, then in command of the Army of the James,
during your absence, the following :
Will General Terry, commaudins; Army of the James, give the following
Headquaktuiis Arjiy of the James,
November 8, 18G4.
Special Ohder, No. — .
Chaplain Henry N. Hudson, having remained under arrest for some time,
because of the impossibility of convening a court martial to try him, because
of movements in the field, is released from close arrest, and will report to
his regiment for duty; but will, on no pretence, leave it.
A copy of this document was also- sent to his friend
Nash, who appeared to take some interest in him, with
the following letter :
New^ York, Hoffman House, Nov. 8, 18G4.
Stei'Hen r. Nash, Esq.
Dear Sir,— Above you will find copy of order to be issued in the case of
Chaplain Hudson. I believe I am treating him differently from what I should
another officer, because I fear lest personal feelings should warp my judgment.
(Signed) BENJ. F. BUTLER.
General Terry, immediately upon the receipt of the
above, issued the order requested.
Keturning about the middle of November to your com-
mand, in addition to the mass of business which had accu-
mulated in your absence, came the orders for you to pre-
pare and fit out your Wilmington expedition, and again
your absence therewith.
Coming back from that you set about the work of pre-
paring the formal charges for his trial, and while thus pre-
paring them only a day or two before being relieved from
command, it was reported to you by myself, that Chaplain
Hudson had been allowed to go home on leave of absence
by order of the Lieutenant General. It was by an acci-
dent merely that I learned it at that time, having been
absent on special duty when the Chaplain left.
Your astonishment at such action having been taken by
the Lieut. General, I well remember. However, you pre-
pared the charges and specifications, and when finished,
sent them to General Grant, filing also a copy in the office
of the Bureau of Military Justice, copies of which charg-
es and your letter are hereto annexed.
Here all your action in the matter, so far as I know,
ended, but not your knowledge of the events which followed.
Perhaps it may not be amiss to add just here, that the
Chaplain had leave of absence given him on the 26th
of December to go home again, by order of Lieut. Gen'l
Grant, of which the following is a copy :
Headquakters Armies of the United States,
City Point, Va., Dec. 24, 1864.
Special Orders, No. 151.
I. Leave of absence is hereby granted to Chaplain Henry N. Hudson, 1st
New York Volunteer Engineers.
By command of Lieutenant-General Grant.
(Signed) T. S. BOWERS,
Asst. Adjt. General,
Chaplain Hudson was relieved from his duty and the
punishment of his offences at the instigation of a Boston
\Yoman — not the Chaplain's wife or relation — who made
the Lieut. General's acquaintance at Wilhird's Hotel,
Washington, and visited him at City Point. What in-
fluences she brought to bear that an officer should escape
punishment of confessed crimes, does not appear. The
Lieut. General testifies before the Committee on the Conduct
of the War, that the Chaplain was released at the interces-
sion of a "lady."
But a Avord more need be said on this Pamphlet. Chap-
lain Hudson, on page 42 says, that "you had, during a
large part of that very time (the time of his confinement),
a court-martial in session at your Headquarters in the
field," and that many " persons whose arrest was subse-
quent " to his, were tried by it, and then argues from his
not having been sent before them for trial, that you did
not mean to try hhn.
As there were but two courts that ever sat at Headquar-
ters from September^ (the time of his arrest), to January,
(the time when you were relieved), and as both of those
courts, being organized for quick and prompt action,
were composed largely of your personal Staff Officers,
how General, could Chaplain Hudson have been tried
before them — what a howl the reverend gentleman and his
friends would have then set up — how quickly would they
have charged you with having sent him who had done you
personal wrong, for trial before a court composed largely
of your personal Staff— of your military family— of your
warm friends. Each of those two courts was formed for
the trial of a few bounty jumpers, deserters, &c., where
the necessities of the service, the discipline of your com-
mancl, and the welfare of the country, demanded a speedy
trial and instant punishment, if found guilty. How would
Chaplain Hudson have been pleased at being tried by your
With the expressions of opinion that he makes use of in
his Pamphlet regarding myself, would he have liked to have
had me one of his judges ? But I was a member of one
of those courts, and the recorder of the other. We could
have fairly passed upon the merits of the Chaplain's case,
as a court which should punish admitted guilt could not go
wrong, and the Chaplain would have been convicted of
crimes that might have sent him to the penitentiary.
Chaplain Hudson is not content with laying his story of
his own grievances before the public in his Pamphlet, but
on pages 21 and 37 he cites two other instances of prison-
ers confined in my camp, as cases showing your great se-
verity and injustice. The Chaplain is j^^culiarly unfortu-
nate in the choice of objects for his sympathy, but I take
it that he v/as misled by his moral and personal affinities.
A word will dispose of these cases. The officer spoken
of by the Chaplain, on page 21, whose name I will not
give, as he is now dead, was a Captain of a light bat-
tery, and was confined until he paid over certain large
sums of money which he had borrowed two years before
of the private soldiers of his company. This misconduct
was aggravated by the fact that he tied to a carriage
wheel, and otherwise severely punished one of the men,
for asking for his own money which he had lent the Captain
two years before, when serving with the Army of the Po-
tomac. Nor was this all. Upon the man's complaint of
his ill treatment at Headquarters, the Captain drew a re-
volver upon the man, and threatened his life, but was pre-
vented from using the weapon by the other officers of the
battery. For these ofTenccs he was tried and convicted, in
part upon his own confession, and dismissed the service.
I detained him, however, in accordance with the terms of
his sentence, until, and onhj until his accounts could be
adjusted, so that he could get his pay and settle with the
soldiers whom he had defrauded.
This case, and others of a kind, were the occasion of the
following General Order :
IIkadquarters Department Virginia and North Carolina,
Army of the James,
In the Field, December 5, 1SC4.
It has come to the knowledge of the Commanding General, by frequent
complaints of private soldiers, that officers borrow money of the enlist€d
men of their commands.
No practice could be more demoralizing to both officers and men ; enlisted
men do dot feel themselves at liberty to refuse to lend their officers. I\Ien,
if they loan money to their officers, expect favors in return, and there is an
end to discipline, and .an incentive to favoritism. Officers borrowing money
of their men, do not regulate their expenditures within their income, and
find themselves unable to repay it.
This practice must be stopped. Hereafter, it will be held cause to recom-
nsend for dismissal, any officer who shall borrow money or incur debt to an
enlisted man. After the next payment, any officer who shall be indebted to
an enlisted man, and has not paid him, will be recommended for dismissal
upon complaint of his creditors.
This order will be read in presence of every company in the command, at
two separate parades.
By command of Maj. Gen. Butler.
(Signed) ED. W. SMITH,
Asst. Adjt. Gsn.
But in his reference to his other fellow sufferer, (Mr.
€azauran), the Chaplain seems fairly to overflow with sym-
pathy, finding in him a congenial companion. Who then
was Mr. Cazauran? A Frenchman, wlio signalized his ad-
vent to this country by two forgeries, for which he had
two sentences in the New York Penitentiary. Copies of
the record of conviction and an affidavit of identification
by one of the officers of the prison, were among my papers.
Cazauran went South and was a writer for the " Memphis
Appeal," advocating the rebellion ; enlisted in the Rebel
army ; deserted ; came to Washington, and from thence to
Norfolk as a "theatrical speculator," to give his own
designation of himself ; employed three days, in the ab-
sence of a phonographer, in the oiTice of General Butler ;
discharged from thence, was next found in Norfolk levy-
ing Black Mail,, by pretending to be a Government de-
tective. For this he was arrested, and having broken
his parole, was tried and sentenced to labor sixty days in
the trenches, with a ball and chain to prevent his escape
to his friends the rebels ; afterwards confined for a time,
so that his information might not be valuable when he was
sent across the lines, as was done.
Is it wonderful that such a man should attract the ear-
nest fellowship of the Chaplain?
But I must close this too extended Report, and in so
doing. General, would rer[uest that, should you notice the
Chaplain's Pamphlet, you will do me the favor to return
him "his compliments" which he volunteers me through
you, and say to him that having always been a little choice
in my selection of friends and acquaintances, I have
never desired, and certainly do not wish now, to have
aught to do or say to such a libellous, slanderous, fraud-
ulent, lying old hypocrite as Chaplain Hudson.
Should there at any time be any further information de-
sired of any facts, which may have escaped my notice,
I shall be most happy to furnish you with them.
All which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to bo.
JOHN I. DAVENPORT,
Late Lieut. A. D. C. and Ass't Provost Marshal Dept.
Ya. and N, C, Army of the James.
LETTER TO JUDGE EOLT
Accompanying Chakges and Specifications against Chaplain Hudson
UPON which he was not brought to trial owing to the intku-
CESSioN OF A "Lady" with Lieut. Gen. Grant.
Fortress Monroe, Va,, Jan. 14, 1865.
General, — While in command of the Department of Virginia and North
Carolina, and oner about the 15th of September last, I caused to be arrested
Henry N. Hudson, Chaplain of the 1st New York Volunteer Engineers, for
grave offences and misdemeauors, which are set forth in the charges and
specifications herewith enclosed. ^
They are the gravest that could possibly be alleged against a minister of
religion, a Chaplain and officer in the United States Army.
From the circumstances that one is an offence personal to myself, I could
neither adjudicate the case as Commander of the Department or order a
I have forwarded duplicates of these charges, and of the resignation of
Chaplain Hudson, to the Lieut. General, Commanding, with the request for
a Court Martial to try them.
Being uncertain whether, under the peculiar circumstances, it should not
be addressed direct to the Bureau of Military Justice, I forward these da-
plicates to you.
I have the honor to be General,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) BENJ. F. BUTLEE, 3Iaj. Gen'l.
To Brig. Gen'l Holt, Office Bureau of Military Justice, "Washington, D.C.
Headquarters Department of Virginia and North CAEOLiNAi,
Army of the James,
In tiiE Field, Va., Jan. 2d, 1865.
'Charges and Specifications against Chaplain Ilenry N. Hudson, of the First
New York Engineers, serving with the Army qf the James.
Charge I. Absence from his command without leave.
Specification 1st. In this that Chaplain Henry N. Hudson, duly com-
missioned, and serving with Lis commaUd in the Department of Virginia
and North Carolina, did quit his commaud, and without leave or proper au-
thority therefor, did remain absent, to wit, from the 29th day of May, in the
year eighteen hundred and sixty-four, until the 15th day of September fol^
lowing, when he, the said Hudsouj Was brought back under arrest.
SPECtPiCATiox 2d. la this that ChapUiin Ilcnry N. Iliulson, being absent
from his command as aforesaid in the city of Xew Yorli, on the ijtli day of
July, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty four, being ordered to return
forthwith to the Department aforesaid, by an order duly issued by Maj. Gen»
Benj. F. Butler, commanding the Department of Virginia and North Caro-
lina, wherein the said Chaplain Hudson should have been then serving—
which order was duly made known to said Chaplain Hudson, said Chaplain
Hudson did refuse and neglect to retuim to his duty and his command, and
did remain absent without proper authority from said fifth day of July till
the fifteenth day of September following, when sail Chaplain Hudson was
brought back under arrest to said Department.
• Charge 2d. Conduct unbecoming au ofilcer and a gentleman.
Specification 1st. In this that said Chaplain Hudson, being an ofilcer
duly commissioned and serving in the Department of Virginia and North
Carolina with his regiment, at and near the defensive lines of the Array
of the United States, near Bermuda Hundreds, and having care as such
Chaplain of the spiritual interests and welfare of his regiment, then lying
iu face of the enemy and liable to be called into action at any time, did
leave his command and neglect his duty, and under a pretended and unoper-
ative leave of absence and order, did go to the city of New York for the pur-
pose and intent of doing private business, to wit, superintending the print-
ing and reading the proof of a certain book, report, and private literary en-
terprise of Quincy A. Gilmore, Maj. General of Volunteers, which the said
Chaplain Hudson supposed was being printed, or about to be printed for
and in behalf of said Gilmore, by Van Nostrand & Company, book publish-
ers in the city of New York, and in pursuance of said business and en-
terprise, said Hudson remained absent from his command, to wit, from the
29th day of May, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-four till the 15th day
oY September following, when the said Chaplain Hudson was brought back
under arrest to said Department. He, the said Hudson, while waiting on said
private enterprise and business, actually drawing his pay from the United
States for all, or a portion of the time, when so depriving the United States
of his services in manner aforesaid.
Specificatiox 2d. In this that said Henry N. Hudson, Chaplain of tl«j
first New York Volunteer Engineers, being duly commissioned and serving
with his command near Bermuda Hundreds, Virginia, did corruptly and im-
properly agree with Quincy A. Gilmore, Maj. General U. S. Volunteers, then
commanding the Tenth Army Corps, iuthe field, in presence of the enemy,
to leave his, said Hudson's, duty and command then iu presence of the ene-
my, and in the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, and go to the
oity of New York upon said Gilmore's order, and there superintend and aid
in the printing or publishing a certain private literary enterprise book and
report, made and intended to be published by said Gilmore for his private
etiterprise and profit, through Van Nostrand & Company, book publishers in
the city of New York.
x\n(\ in pursuance of said corrupt agreement, said Hudson did take and
receive tlic order of said Gilniore to proceed to New York on "business for
the Commanding General," to wit, said Gilmore, and did leave liis command
and duty and go to said city of New York, and did remain and wait to su-
perintend and aid in the publishing of said book and report from the 1st day
of June to the 13th day of September, and until said Hudson was returned
to said Department under arrest-
Said Hudson taking and receiving his pay from the United States for his
services as such Chaplain while he was so waiting upon and attending to
said private enterprise of said Gilmore, and while so deserting his post, his
duty and his command.
This at Bermuda Hundreds, Virginia, on the 2Sth day of May, eighteen
hundred and sixty- four.
CnAKGE 3d. Disobedience of orders.
In this that said Chaplain Hudson being absent in the city of New Yorlc
from his post, duty and command in the Department of Virginia and North
Carolina, was ordered, and did receive such order and due notice thereof,
to return to said Department, and to report to the Headquarters thereof
without delay, did rcifuse, delay and neglect to obey said order, and did re-
main absent, without leave from his commander, for the space of two mouths,
to wit, till the fifteenth day of September following.
This at New York, on the fifth day of July, in the year eighteen hundred
Charge 4Tn. Conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline.
In this that said Chaplain Hudson, being then an ofllcer duly serving under
the command of Maj. General Benj. F. Butler, then in command of the
Department of A'^irginia and North Carolina, did write a certain letter and
communication to Parke Godwin, Editor of the "New York Evening Post,"
a newspaper published in the city of New York, containing a calumnious,
censorious and defam.atory criticism and censure of his superior oflicer Maj.
General Butler commanding, and did in said letter discuss the acts, oiders
and commands of his Commanding officer, which said letter and censure was
published in said newspaper, and thereby said Hudson's superior oflicer was
injuriously and unjustly held up to public hatred, ridicule and contempt,
which said injurious letter, publication, or a copy thereof, is not appended or
set forth in tliis specification, because the same cannot be obtained by the
Witnesses:— Maj. Gen. Q. A. Gilmoht:; Maj. Gen. Benj. E. Butler; Col.
Edw. "W. Serrell, 1st N. Y. Eng'rs ; Lieut. Jxo. I. Daat;xport, Lieut, and
A. D. C. ; Parke Godwin, Editor N. Y. Evening Post ; Lieut. Col. E. W.
Smith, A. A. G, Dept. Va. and N. C.
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