Skip to main content

Full text of "Supplemental memorial of Charles Lee Jones, in reply to the counter-memorial from Jalapa, in Mexico, under the signature of certain of the volunteers there in garrison, in relation to Capt. George W. Hughes, there exercising the command of a colonel"

See other formats

to c.^...^^-— ^^^"^ "^""^ 


Ct^% ^40 3 


A' -^ y 




















To the Senate and House of Representatives 

of the United States in Congress assembled: 

Your memorialist, Charles Lee Jones, prays leave to present this his 
supplemental memorial, by way of reply to certain counter-memorials 
which go, among other thinors, to deny and put in issue the truth and jus- 
tice of the complaints which, under the circumstances and relations in 
which he stood towards the parties, it had become his duty, in behalf of 
the volunteers from the District of Columbia, serving- in Mexico, to lay 
before Congress, in his memorial presented in the month of March last; 
complainis of the despotic denial by the Executive of the well-established 
rights and privileges, both ,of those volunteers and of the others associated 
with them in service ; and complaints of most grievous insult, wrono- 
and oppression heaped upon the same volunteers, individually, by Capiain 
G. W. Hughes of the Topographical Engineers, in the exercise of his very- 
anomalous command of a regiment composed of volunteers from several 
States, including three companies (much less than a third of the whole) 
from the District of Columbia : a cotnmand exercised under a title no less 
stange and anomalous — that is. Colonel of the Maryland and District of 
Columbia Regiment of Volunteers ; Maryland being only one out of sev- 
eral States, besides the District ot Columbia, which had contributed com- 
panies to the regiment. 

Your memorialist has already suggested grounds on which he presumes 
it plainly appears that the Executive of the United States, in creatino- such 
an office and in conferring such a command on Capt. Hughes, acted in 
violation of the Constiution and laws of the United States, and of the leo-al 
and well-established rights of all the volunteers subjected to that command 
and against all the precedents in the administration of the Government 
since its first institution ; and that the appointment of that officer to such a 
command, proceeding as it did from a i>surped and void authority, was 
void in itself, and communicated to him no just right and title to exercise 
his assumed command over the volnnteers, either for good or for ill. 

Important as are the rights of individuals violated and trampled on by 

this breach of the Constiiuiion and laws, it calls for investigation still more 
as a mailer of public and general concernment, than of individual com- 
plaint ; though, certainly, it be no small ag^gravation of the personal wrongs 
of the volunteers, if they have suffered those wrongs fron^ the exercise of 
an authority void in itself, and from the hand of an insulter and oppressor 
destitute of any legal right to exercise command over th'^n, even with 
sound discretion, far less with wanton abuse and injury. 

Your memorialist submits, with absolute deference, to the wisdom of 
Congress the lawfulness of the office and command erected by the Execu- 
tive for Capt. Hughes. But before proceeding to take up the issue tender- 
ed in the counter-memorial on the complaints of personal insult and out- 
rat^e charged to have been perpetrated by Capt. Hughes on the volunteers 
subjected to his commaud, your luemorialist deems it his duly now to lay 
before Congress this new fact: That the jDrero^a/?ye of appointing the 
officers of volunteers — even of volunteers raised within the body of a Slate 
jind under the peculiar authority ef the State, upon requuisitions fiom the 
Federal Executive — and of appointing them without consulting the choice, 
nay, aoainst the declared wishes of the volunteers themselves — that this 
transcendant/»rfro.o-a/it'e has not been claimed and exercised by the Fed- 
eral Executive alone, but has been transmitted and communicated, by some 
unknown process, from the Executive lo the mere creature of its own ap- 
pointtnent, Capt. Hughes ; who actually appointed a lieutenant to one of 
the companies from this District, in place of one resigned ; and, when he 
achieved that act of power, openly expressed his utter disregard of the 
wishes of the company in the matter. 

Your memorialist will now proceed to bring out such matters as are ne- 
cessary to sustain the allegations of his original memorial against the gain- 
say in o-s of the signers fo the counter- memorials ; to join in the issue of 
feet tendered by them, and to unite with them in their call for investiga- 
tion before a Committee of Congress *, an investigation the more strict, 
comprehensive, and searching, so much the more agreeable to his own 
wishes, whatever the result; for he is not conscious of one interest or of 
•one feeling that regards any other consequence from (he investigation than 
the development of the simple truth, the whole trtuh, and nothing but the 
truth ; no one interest and no one feeling but such as would be gratified if 
the investigation, clear of every sort of evasion, prevarication, and suppres- 
sion of fact, resulted in the plenrry justification of the officer in question, 
upon the complaints that now weigh so heavy on his official conduct and 

The two counter- memorials in which this issue of fact is tendered, and this 
iavfisJigation is challenged, are various in the tone and "emper displayed 
ia thera ; a differePkCe arising, as your memorialist has strorig reason to be- 
lieve not so much fiom any diversity of feeling or sentiment among the 
^igaers themselves, as from the design of some of the more prominent 
promoters, out of sycophancy to their commanding officer, to give their 
statement a spiteful and splenetic turn against your memorialist, and to foist 
<iffensive and unjust expressions into the mouths of men subject to over- 
Weening influences, and unwittingly drawn in to minister to the malice of 

If your memorialist had to look for circumstantial evidence of the tru^h 
of the complaints which he became the instrument of laying before Con- 
gress in behalf of these volunteers, four months ago, he could have none 

more peisuasive (o his own mind, (knowing as he does the persons concern- 
ed, and all the circtimstances that surrounded them,) than the context of 
these counter-memorials, and the shlfis to which the framers and promoters 
of them have been put to canvass for signatures, by indecent importunity 
and unfair influence. 

The getters up of these papers have sought to contradict your memorial- 
ist and imipuie jfa is e hood to his statements, upon two distinct matters of 
complaint : 1st. The personal ill-treatment of volimteers by Capt. Hughes, 
2d. The agency of your memorialist in raising the three District compa- 
nies of the original battalion, the unanimous and enthusiastic desire of 
those companies to have him for their commander, and their astonishment^ 
discontent, and indignation when their just expectations were disappoint- 
ed, and another commander was despotically put over them. 

Thus are presented two distinct issues, and two, distinct subjects on 
which investigation is challenged. 

As to the first of these, the alleged misconduct of Capt. Hughes in the 
practical exercise of his command, good reason will presently appear foi 
concluding that the signers of these counter-memorials (that is the great 
mass, and the really well disposed and honest among them,) have been 
grossly deceived in the precise tendency and nature of the denials which 
they have given to the statement of your memorialist ; and that they have 
been taught to consider as legal and justifiable severity or strictness of dis- 
cipline, acts which, in truth,' if they had been properly instructed in their 
own rights and the duties of their superiors, they should have treated as 
atrocious violations of law, and of the most sacred rights of the citizen and 

The complaint, as it was originally advanced by your memorialist, was 
conceived in very general terms. His former memorial, after setting forth 
the illegal and despotic treatment of the District volunteers by the Execu- 
tive, in depriving them of the commandant whom they had elected, and 
forcing on them another whom all their feelings and wishes rejected, sums 
up the complaints against Capt. Hughes, as follows: 

" But the more immediate provocation to this application, proceeds fron* 
' complaints, indubitably vouched by persons direct from Jalapa where- 
'these men are stationed, of the grossest and most shameful misconduct 
'towards them on the part of their unlawful commander. Your memo- 
'rialist feels compelled, by a solemn duty to his fellow-citizens whom he 
'had induced to enter the military service', to state, that he has irrefragable 
'proof that they have received, and a/e now receiving, additional and 
' heavier wrongs, in the way of personal maltreatment and flagrant insult 
' and oppr<ession, at the hands of their forced commander the said George 
' W. Hughes." 

The d'enial is, of course, in terms equally broad and general ; and the 
question remains whether»<hey who joined in such denial are not personal- 
ly cognizant of all the material facts and circumstances, upon which your 
memorialist was instructed to ground the general complaint. 

So direct, so circumstantial and authentic seemed the information of 
facts and circumstances upon which the complaint was grounded — so far 
above suspicion or doubt — that he was indeed astonished at the first view 
of the blunt contradictions contained in these counttr-memorials ; and he 
resolved, before taking any further step in the matter of complaint, to re- 
examine his ground, and use every effort to detect the fallacy — whether it 
were m the information on which he had acted, or in the denials and con- 

tradictions which had been put into the mouths of the signers to the coun- 

Tlie result of his further inquiries and investigations is a constantly 
swelling stream of evidence, from day to day, and from hour to Iiour, flow- 
ing in and accumulating directly from tlje scene of action, not only con- 
firming beyond the possibilily of doubt all the facts and circumstances from 
which the g'ueral charge against Captain Hughes was educed, but more 
precisely developing and indentifying tliose facts and circamsiances and 
imbuing them with lints of deeper atrocity. 

' That (here may no longer be room left for the underworking intriguers 
and parasites who framed and promoted these coun'er-memorials, to play 
upon the credulity and facility of signers, under cover ot a f^eneral charge 
to be met by a general denial, your memorialist will now proceed to reduce 
this general charge to^particulars. 

1. Insulting, abusive, and most indecent epithets frequently — indeed it 
might be said habitually — uttered by Captain Hughes against both officers 
and men, on duty; tending to degrade both him who uttered and them 
who received the abuse ; and to subvert all discipline, and all sense of com- 
mon decency among oflicers and men. 

Among the many specifications that may be cited of (his pernicious and 
disgraceful . demeanor to officers, and men, your memorialist slates the fol- 
lowing as being most indubitably vouched. 

On the 22d February last, Capt. Hughes, being apparently excited and 
flustered from some unknown cause, came to the parade ground where the 
regiment was going throuojh some maneuvers, and immediately poured 
forth a volley of abuse against both officers and men ; the epithets were of 
the most vituperative sort, and were uttered with a lone and manner to 
make tliem most oflensive ; he repeatedly threatened the men with violence 
from his own hand. So abusive^and insulting was his language and con- 
duct, and so indiscriminately insulting to otiicers and men, that, at last, 
one of the Captains indignantly put up his sword — swore he would not 
stay to hear either himself or his men insulted in that way, and conteinp- 
tuously retired from the parade to his quarters. The state of dis:ipUne 
was such, that this captain was not brought before a court martial for his 
open contempt of his superior officer, in the face of the regiment, on pa- 
rade ; and so, whether the breach of discipline were the fault of the Cap- 
tain or of the Colonel, has never hte.n judicially ascertained. 

il. Frequent, wanton, cruel, and dangerous assaults, committed by Cap- 
tain Hughes, on the men under his command, wich his sword ; sometimes 
beating and bruising the men with the flat of his sword, at (jther times cut- 
ting and wounding them with its edge ; but the lightest of which blows 
should have cashiered him, as was the fate of an otherwise excellent offi- 
cer a ie\<f years ago, for a blow hastily given to a soldier. 

Your memorialist is now able to specify the foH4)wing soldiers, as having 
suffered under this sort of violence, to wit : John Macbeth, Thos. Young,* 

*Ndte. — Since the above was in print, I find that doubts are expressed by some of the volun- 
teers as to the fact of Young's being cut. Some think he was cut, others that he was only 
bruised by the baeli of the sabre ; all. however, agree that whether it was with the edge, back 
or side, the blow was severe and cruel; and, I understand, the blemish caused by the blow is 
still to be seen on his person. 

The circumstances are these. Young was a musician, and, at the time, was at the head of the 
regiment beating his drum, Capt. Hughes gave an order of march, which it was impossible for ' 
him to have heard in consequence of the deafening noise of his instrument, and, of course, was 
Uot obeyed. Whereupon Capt. H. rode up to him in a great rage and gave the blow. 

Christopb'er C. Clements, John Saulsbury, and Alexander H. Harvvood, of 
whom, Macbeth and Young were sorely cut with the edge of the sword, 
and the others beaten with it ; aiid of whom, Clements, Saulsbury, and 
Harwood have since died. 

III. Now comes the specificaiion of an act so atrocious as a violation of 
all law, and of the most sacred rights of the citizen and soldier, and so 
cruel as a personal infiiciion on an individual, that your memorialist could 
not be brought to credit the accounts ha received of the commission of the 
act, till the last spark of his scepticism was extinguished by the testimony 
of many and credible eye-witnesses. 

A private soldier, and a volunteer in one of the companies from this Dis- 
trict, named John T. Davis, was charged, in some confused way never 
well understood, with having assaulted a Mexican woman who kept a 
house of public resort in Jalapa. Davis, himself, always denied, and yet 
denies, most strenuously, that he was the person who committed the offence ; 
but has always declared that if a proper oppormnity had been afforded him, 
he could have proved his own innocence, and have thrown the act upon 
another person ; and your memorialist is credibly informed that such is 
the general belief of his comrades. The question, however, of his owa 
guilt or innocence v.'eighs not tlie dust in the balance, even lo mitigate, 
far less to excuse, the outrageously illegal and cruel tyranny which lacerated 
his body, and weakened his constitution, with cruel and ignominious 
stripes, and subjected him to the lingering ills of penury and disgrace. 

This man (without a hearing, or any fa;;- opporiuniiy to repel (he charge) 
was summarily ordeied by Captain Hughes io receive fifty laslies on his bare 
back. T4ie Captain, it is said, remained in si£:ht, thouo:h at some distance, 
whilst the stripes were inflicted with all military severiiy — and just as that 
number was completed, he ran down to the place of punishment, and ve- 
hemently ordered twenty-five more. Those being inflicted, widi the same 
severiiy, he again ordered twenty five more ; but, as the man seemed cru- 
elly lacerated and exhausted with the seveniy-five already inflicted. Cap- 
tain Hughes humanely suffered himself to be begged out of the remain- 
ing twenty-five. 

The man, after remaining in the hospital for some weeks, was disgrace- 
fully discharged from the service, by the order of his commander, and in- 
curred all the forfeitures incident to such discharges; and had to find his 
way home in utter penury and destiiuiion, encountering such difliculties 
by the way, that it was only within a few days past that after long, circu- 
itous, and painful travel, he at last got back to his friends in Georgetown. 

Now the question is, did the signers to the counter memorial, wheii they 
denied, in general terms, the general charge as it was at first advanced, in- 
tend to deny any of the facts or speci/iC't/ions involved, though not ex- 
pressed, in the general charge? Did they clearly see and understand that 
the general charge rested on those facts and circumstances alone, and that 
those facts and circumstances amounted to the general charge ; so that, 
when they denied the general charge, they consequently denied the facts 
and circumstances that constituted it? 

No more conclusive answer in the negative need be required than to say : 
1st. that the signers of this counter memorial are, for the most part, as he 
has reason to think, from personal knowledge of some — from reputation of 
others, men of respectability incapable of wilful and deliberate folsehood. 
2d, That the identical facts and circumstances, now for the first time drawa 

out into specifications of the general charge, were, from the first, well 
known to the aforesaid signers themselves. Such of them as were not eye 
and ear-witnesses of the facts^ (and many of them were so,) having always 
treated these identical facts and circumstances as public and notorious 
truths, universally diflused through camp and garrison, and pervading the 
minds of all with convictions as satisfactory and clear of doubt, as if evi- 
denced by their own senses. Even the identical Captain, who so openly 
and indignantly resented and repelled the insults heaped on him and his 
comrades collectively, on the 22d February, and who so unequivocally 
cliallenged ariest for contempt of his superior, as is above related — even he 
is among the itngualijied sigfiers of {he counter memorial; having been 
persuaded and influenced, at length, to yield up his own unsophisticated 
conclusions from what he saw and heard, to superior authority. In short, 
if every other witness were out of the way, your memorialist has good as- 
surance of its being still in his power to substantiate all the foregoing speci- 
fications by witnesses taken from amona: the oforesaid signers alone. But, 
on the other hand, if every man of them were to turn out and out witness- 
es against him, he knows of overpowering evidence to prove, in their (eelh, 
€very particular o( the general charge. Affirmative evidence so detnonstra- 
live and irresistible as to put down all show of opposiiien from all their 
negative testimonies oombuied ; and to clear away every shadow of doubt. 
That these men should have so positively denied the necessary conclu- 
sions from facts and circumstances within their own knowledge, may be a 
lamentable proof of the mental bondage lo which the novel circumstances, 
in which they were placed, had reduced them ; but your memorialist im- 
putes it not to the general mass of them as wilful and corrupt falsehood. 
He is aware tliat most of them, though men every way intelligent and well- 
informed in the ordinary affairs of civil life, were wholly deficient in milita- 
ry knowledge and experience. They found themselves insulated in their 
garrison, detached from the body of the army, and under the separate com- 
mand of a Colonel, of whose appointment all the circumstances demon- 
strated that he was the ^-pecia I favorite of the Government at home ; the 
favorite on whom honors and trusts were gratuitously showered, which might 
have gratified the pride and liberally rewarded the services ot veterans who 
had won high reputation and honor in actual service. As he had been 
elevated to that high post from a corps (the topographicals) which the lam 
had constituted a part of the militanj establishment, they presumed that he 
had brought to his command the advantages of regular instruction in mili- 
tary science, and that his connection, as topographical engineer, with the 
army had placed him so very far above them all in knowledge and experi- 
ence of military law and discipline, as entitled him to be received as over- 
ruhng authority in all such matteis, and to silence all judgments and all 
feelings tending to rebellion against his harshest and most tyrannical prin- 
ciples and practices of military law and discipline. They knew not that 
he had been transplanted into the topographical department of Engineers 
from the ordinary walks of civil life ; and that his ability to execute, with 
whatever degree of science and skill, the duties oi topographical engineer 
inferred no science or knowledge, theoretical or practical, of military tactics, 
or of military law and discipline ; though it be true that most of the offi- 
cers of the topographical Engineers (as are all the officers of the old corps 
of Engineers) are taken from those Academic cadets, whom a systematic 
education and training in military science and tactics has accomplished and 

prepared for any and every branch, and for any and every arm of the mili- 
tary service. 

But, in addition to the implicit deference which such raw recruits might 
be easily persuaded to think due to the sheer assertion of authority on the 
part of any commander presumed to have been in possession of profession- 
al knowledge and experience commensurate with his command, and espe- 
cially of a commander backed by the weight and influence of such extra- 
ordinary demonstrations of Government favor, the urgent importunities 
and undue influences of oflicial station were freely exerted to sway the 
minds and overpower the independence of the inferior officers and men, 
in order to enlist them as signers of a memorial to justify their connnander, 
and bestow on him gratuitous flatteries to boot. Considering how depend- 
ent both the officers and men under hiscommand were, for their well-being, 
upon his good will, and how exposed to suffering from his vindictiveness, 
it is honorable to human nature to perceive how many preserved sufficient 
independence and vigor of mind to withstand such brow-beating influen- 
ces and importunities, and positively refused their signatures ; many of 
them yielded with reluctance, and some of them, after flat refusals, were 
caught in a moment of weakness and overpersuaded out of iheii signa- 
tures ; whilst others were grossly deceived by the emissaries employed to 
procure signatures, who impudently misrepresertted the purport of the me- 

Not content with the persuasions and importunities of emissaries in the 
persons of certain inferior officers, orderlies, &c., the Colonel himself con- 
descended, as your memorialist is prepared to prove, to exert his influence 
in proper person, and to address his pe sonal entreaties to individuals un- 
derstood to be averse to put their signatures to the memorial in his behalf. 

The result is such as ruight be expected in a memorial got up for such 
purposes, under such circumstances, and among parties standing in such 
relations to each other. Here we have a document which, in eflect, denies 
that it is any "personal insult, maltreatment, wrong, or oppression" to volun- 
teers in military service to be publicly abused and villified on parade, with ail 
sorts of opprobrious and disgraceful epithets by their Colonel ; to be beaten, 
bruised, and hacked with his drawn sword ; to have their naked bodies cut 
and torn by the abhorred and law-forbidden scourge, by orders emanating 
from his arbitrary will and executed under his immediate eye and direc- 
tion ; nay, a document which goes rather beyond this neoatiue averment, 
and, notwithstanding all the aforesaid severities and cruelties be undenied 
and undeniable, asserts that " Col. Hughes has ever shown the greatest 
mej'cy to his men in the exercise of power ^ and has never shown to any 
individual of his command any thing bordering on insult or oppression." 
Awful, indeod, must have been their conception of Col. Hughes' "power," 
if such be the " greatest mercies of its exercise." This document, how- 
ever, was not prepared and procured with a view to ihe j ustijication alone 
of their Colonel ; it discloses ulterior views, general adulation ; military 
capacity of the highest order, and entitling him to " unlimited confidence" 
as a commander, are ascribed to him in somewhat swelling phrase; and, 
although the military capacities and qualities ascribed to him may be in 
him for aught that is positively known to the contrary, yet are they some- 
what gratuitously ascribed, since the only service ever known to have been 
performed by him in a military capacity, and the only opportunity which 
he is known to have enjoyed for the display of his military talents, was on 


the march from Vera Cruz to Jalapa, and the occupation for some months 
of an already captured town and conquered district in the enemy's coun- 
try. ' For this they consider that the Government bestowed on them " a 
signal favor," when it selected him for their commander. To all this your 
niemorialist has nothing to say; but when they go on to say, in one part 
of their n-iemorial, that his conduct " has won for him the ajfeclion and es- 
teem of every ofiicer. non-commiseioned officer, and private who have 
served under him ;'' and in another part, that nineteen-twentieths of the 
officers and men under his command concur in the sentiments expressed 
of him in that, memorial, they have supplied a test which your memorial- 
ist has applied, and wdiich every person who desires it may at any time 
apply, of the undue means taken to put things into the moutlis of these 
deceived and abused men, which they know to be untrue, and contrary to 
the real feelings and sentiments of at least nineteen-twentieths both of the 
officers and men. Let any one, now that thiimen are relumed home, and 
are emancipated from their late mental thraldom, question any of them 
who may happen to fall .in his way, of their " afiection and esteem" for^ 
or their confidence in, their late field officers; and then note the contrast 
between their feelings to^J^ards Major Kenley, (the only legiliraaiely ap- 
pointed field officer of the three,) and towards their Colonel ; and mark 
how strongly pronounced i^ their preference of the first, for every quality 
that should distinguish the soldier and the gentleman, and their personal at- 
tachment to him, strict as was his discipline. A similar comparison of 
their feelings towards their Lieutenant Colonel would probably be follow- 
ed by a similar result. No whisper of exception to Lieutenant- Colonel 
Emory's conduct has been heard ; nor was any exception ever made (o 
his appointment btu its inherent illegality, as well as its injustice to Major 

Although this coimter- memorial makes no direct reference to the acts 
of outrage and violence above specified, there is an adroit and artful 
attempt to ease them off by anticipation, and (o insinuate that they 
were regular inflictions under the sentences of courts martial. " Though 
Col. Hughes, it says, as comnumding officer of the regiment, has frequent- 
ly been called upon for his approval of sentences of courts martial, severe 
in their character, but necessar}?^ for the maintenance of good order and dis- 
cipline, still he has ever shown the greatest mercy in the exercise of 
power ;" and it is further surmised, that tlie information upon which your 
memorialist founded the complainis set forth in his former memorial, pro- 
ceeded from delinquents who had sufl'ered under such sentences. Now, 
your memorialist asserts, upon the strength of the most indubitable infor- 
mation, that no one of the acts of outrage or violence above specified 
against Capt, Hughes, ever had the slightest connection with any judicial 
sentence or procedure whatever; no^ is there one of them that. would not 
have been just as unlawful, and some of them more absurd, in a Court 
Martial as in him. As to the character of the witnesses from whom your 
memorialist obtained the information in question, he will content himself 
with saying, there is not an individual among them who does not stand at 
least as high in point of honor and truthfulness as the very best on the list 
of counter memorialists ; and, for the matter now in hand, entided to infi- 
nitely higher credit, as they have steered clejar of the gross inaccuracies 
and absurdities embodied m the counter memorial, to which the others 
have been entrapped to sign their names. 


In conclusion, yoiii- memorialist feels himself called to notice a portion 
of the said counter memorial, which, after more direct adulation to the 
Colonel^ seeks to flatter and soothe him mdirectly hy a personal attack on 
your memorialist. They first of all speak sneeringly of his ^'-pretensions 
to an active and useful agency in raising the regiment." " They are wil- 
ling to grant him all the credit he may deserve, knowing that, to a certain 
degree, he was active in raising o. portion of the three District companies." >, 
Not content with that sort of sneering disparagement, the same subject is 
again brought up in a subsequent part of the counter memorial, for the 
purpose of proving one of his statements/a/ife ; and, although falsehood is 
imputed in all the grossness of the expression, yet there is stamped, on th(e. .. 
very foce of the imputation a disingenuous prevarication, foolish as, it. is^., 
mean and disingenuous ; a sort of syllogistic giving of the lie, ;,.tl;ie false-,, 
hood being inferred, with a logical " therefore,''' from premises whicji . 
make the conclusion absurd and ridiculous. The point liiiiged on, is, a;, 
certain memorial presented to the President by a ponion of the District , 
volunteers, remonstrating against the appointujent of Capt. Hughes to the j 
command of the battalion ; and which your memorialist had said " repre-., 
sented the unanimous wishes of their companions." xVfter much misrep-, .^ 
resentation of the circumstances attending that memorial, they hinge upqn;,-, 
this last assertion, that the memorial, which was presented to the Presideo.tij 
by a part of the volunteers, represenied the unanimous wishes of the others ;,ij 
and to that they give their syllogisiic lie. "They knojc (t.hey are made to ;; 
say) that when said memorial was sent to Fort McHenri/, where the tw,o,J 
remaining companies of the District portion of the regiment were station- 
ed, that the members of said companies did not sign the said mempria,],,., 
and therefore it h false that said memorial, when presented to the Presi-:,; 
dent, did set forth the unanimous wishes of their companiijiis, the mejhbers 
of the three District companies.'' The absurdity and. folly of this con- 
clusion, from the mere non-signaivre of the memorial by the two compa-^,j 
nies at Fort McHenry, are obvious enough when, upon an aUentive exami- ' 
nation of the sentence, the shallow artifice of its structiue becomes manifest , 
in this, that it cunningly avoids asserting that the memorial was proposed , 
to the two companies for their signatures, and/'e/ec^ec/; and cautiously , 
limits the assertion to the mere fact of its not being actually signed. Thp^.j 
disingenousness and prevarication involved in this shallow artifice,. ar^,v> 
no Ipss manifest. The framers and promoters of the counter-memorial,. ■:_: 
though they ventured not upon any sucli bold-faced and unblushing false- ,,, 
hood, as that the memorial to the Presideni, signed by the one company,^, 
was actually proposed to and rejected by the two conpanics at Fort Mc- 
Henry, yet they did a far meaner thing, they insinuated it under cover of;; 
saying, that the memorial '• was sent to Port McHenry^- and that the,twQ,j 
companies of District volunteers there stationed " did not sign it." j-.ju 

Now, of all the signers to the counter-memorial, there is not one who, \i ^ 
he had any personal knowledge of the matter, that is to say, there was not, -j 
one of the signers who belonged to any of the three District companies, 
who did not personally know thaL every officer and man, without excep- 
tion, in the two companies stationed at Fort McHenry, was just as indig-..j 
nant at the appointment of Capt. Hughes, as those who remained in Wash-;,| 
ington when that appointment was announced ; and would, had they nQ^,,j 
been removed from Washington and shut up in the Fort before that an-;, ^ 
nouncement, have enthusiastically united in the same memorial; that the/ 


commanding officers of the two companies did, indeed, take to Fort Mc- 
Henry a counterpart of the memorial, which had been presented to the 
President from the volunteers remaining in Washington, with the intention 
of presenting it to their companies for sig-nniiire ; that, if those officers had 
fulfilled their first intention, the memorial would have been instantly and 
unanimously adopted and signed by the two companies ; finally, that those 
officers changed their minds after leaving Washingten, and suppressed the 
memorial, and that, ^'•therefore the two companies did not sign it." 

All this was matter of common and general notoriety at the time, and 
personally known for certain and true by every officer and man of the three 
District companies, and by none more certainly and distinctly than by such 
of them as have been induced to put their names to this counter-memorial: 
to them also the reasons which determined the officers of the two companies 
at the Fort, upon second thoughts, to decline proceeding further with the 
memorial, weie perfectly well known : namely, that they considered the 
chance quite desperate of changing the President's determination, or of ob- 
taining any sort of redress from Executive justice; and that, whilst there 
was no hope of any practical result beneficial to the volunteers, they had 
strong grounds for apprehending that the presentation of the memorial', 
and their active co-operation in it, would be visited with aggravated insult 
and injury to themselves and their fellow soldiers, by the revocation of 
their own commissions, and foicing certain partizans and adherents of 
power on the companies in the place of the officers dismissed. To the 
officers themselves the blow would have been heavy and distressing, after 
they had withdrawn themselves from other pursuits and devoted so much 
of their time and labor to the raising of the companies, and incurred so 
much expense in equipping themselves for the caiupaign. 

The counter-memorial, to which your memorialist is now called to re- 
ply, is presented in two separate pans — the one is the thoroughgoing and 
unscrupulous one containing all the prevaricating statements and ridiculous 
balderdash already commented on, and to which all the signatures with 
the exception of two are appended; the other is a short one, cut down, 
simplified and reformed for Lieutenants Addison and Carr alone to sign, 
who had, as your memorialist has reason to believe, utterly rejected the 
thoroughgoing one, and were very reluctantly over-persuaded to sign one 
carefully modified so as to make it less unpalatable, and which is confined 
exclusively to the acquittal of the Colonel from the outrages and violences 
charged on him, without touching any of the other topics that figure so 
prominently in the other memorial. 

To the thoroughgoing memorial there appear sixty signatures, collected 
from the miscellaneous mass of volunteers extending from the District of 
Columbia and Maryland to Tennessee, and consisting of commissioned and 
non-commissioned officers and assistant surgeons. Of these there are only 
six lieutenants (one of them the lieutenant appointed by Captain 
Hughes) and eight sergeants and corporals who belonged to the District 
companies. These are all of the signers who could have had any personal 
knowledge of the circumstances referred to in the counter-memorial, touch- 
ing the raising of the District companies, and their proceedings on the ap- 
pointment of Capt. Hughes to command the battalion. Yet, of the re- 
maining forty- six, forty annex unqualified signatures, and only six of them 
qualified signatures disavowing all knowledge of those circumstances. 
This shows the degree of caution and intelligence that guided the signers 
when they put their names to the paper. 


As to the part borne by your memorialist in raising ihe District battal- 
ion — his "pretensions," as the invidious phrase is — and as to all the cir- 
cumstances connected with that transaction from the time the enterprise 
was commenced by him to the final violation of the essential terms and 
conditions on which the volunteers were enrolled, he need not say a word; 
they are all matters of public notoriety, thoroughly understood by the 
whole community ; (hey have been staled in detail in the pamphlet entitled 
'' The case of the Battalion stated," by Walter Jones ; the absolute accu- 
racy of which, in all iis details, has never been questioned, though powerful 
interests and passions eagerly sought for some vulnerable point of attack in 
it; and which, besides the credit universally conceded to it, is sustained 
throughout by authentic proofs and documents. 

Your memorialist was, therefore, egregiously misunderstood," if it was 
supposed that he referred to that subject for the sake of display, or of mak- 
ing ^'■pretensions ;-^ it was part of the iuW/ies* of his memorial to denounce 
to Congress the illegality of foisting field officers upon a regiment of State 
volunteers; and the origin of that regiment in the battalion raised by him 
was a necessary part of its history. 


Washington, July 31, 1S48. 


LB N '10