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INTRODUCTION.

AFTER enduring, for nearly eight months, the horrors of a. Southern prison, I found myself, almost on the very morning of my enfranchisement, (with a heart overflowing with joy, and sincerely thankful to that Providence which had so mercifully protected me from the ills and dangers of my incarceration,) suddenly stripped of my happiness, and my liberty again restricted by the action of my own Government-which, for three years, I had manfully striven to uphold. On the very point of returning to my family, I was arrested by an order of the Secretary of War, and directed to confine myself to the limits of Willard's hotel. Conscious of no crime, I cheerfully yielded to the orders of my superior officer-confidently believing that a brief period would place me in possession of the allegations against me, to which I had little doubt of making a satisfactory reply. The fact of my arrest being announced in the public journals, my friends, both military and civil, hastened to express their confidence in my honor, by personal visits. Among them was one who, more conversant with military usage than myself, intimated that the course pursued in my case was unusual and severe. Outraged at this information, I immediately called on my former commander and always friend-JAMES S. WadsWORTH, then temporarily stopping at the hotel. Confiding to him my troubles, he at once sought the Secretary of War, and, after briefly stating my services and character, asked that I should be treated in a manner commensurate with my deserts. Strongly prejudiced against me by the slanders of my enemies, this gentleman not *only refused his request, but threatened to send me to Fortress Monroe—there to remain for the balance of the war. Believing him in earnest, my gallant defender immediately posted off to the proposed place of imprisonment, for the purpose of seeing General Butler, my future custodian, and interesting him in my behalf. During his absence, however, I deemed it proper to address the following to the War Office :

“ Willards?, Hotel, S, 1867. Eve's;}

MARCH 13, 1864. " Hon. E. M. STANTON,

"Secretary of War“SIR : After a confinement of seven months, in the most horrid and loathsome prison known to modern times, I find myself, on my return to my own lines, the victim of a most cruel, cowardly, and infamous accusation, emanating solely from personal malevolence and petty jealousy. Arrested on the very threshold of my happiness, I learn that I have been released from one prison only to be immured in another.

“ The charges against me, let them proceed from whom they may, are of such a character as to require the most searching investigation; and my purport, in thus addressing you, is to say that, whilst courting-nay, demanding—the most thorough scrutiny, and placing myself unreservedly and uncomplainingly at the disposition of my government, I would most respectfully submit that, two years and a half service in the field-facing the enemy-entitles me to a belief in my innocence, and the treatment due thereto, until the impartial verdict of a military tribunal may decide otherwise.

" Very respectfully,
" Your obed't servant,
"JAMES M. SANDERSON,

"Lt. Col. C. S. V."

After a delay of forty-eight hours, I was waited upon by Capt. W. T. Hartz, A. A. G. to Col. Hoffman, Commissary General of Prisoners, who served upon me the following order :

Office of the Comm'y Gen. of Prisoners, WASHINGTON, D. C., March 15, 1864.

· Lt. Col. J. M. SANDERSON,

Comm'y Sub.U.S.V.,

Washington, D. C."COLONEL: By authority of the Secretary of War, you are hereby relieved from your arrest, and permitted to return to your home, on condition that you give your parole of honor not to leave there without authority ; and that you will be prepared to meet at any time or place any charges that may be preferred against you by any officer who was a prisoner of war with you in Richmond.

Very respectfully, &c.,
*** W. HOFFMAN, Col. Third Inf’y,

"Comm'y Gen. of Prisoners."

Readily accepting this condition, I signed the parole, and immediately started for home. On reaching New-York, greatly to my amusement and the astonishment of my friends, I learned through the newspapers that I was then on my way to Fort Warren. In order to correct this misstatement, I published the following card, addressed to the different editors :

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"Pierrepont House, BROOKLYN,

MARCH 18, 1864. “SIR : In order to relieve the minds of those who have real interest in my welfare, allow me to say that I have been released from arrest; and am not on my way to Fort Warren or any other prison.

“As regards the charges brought against me, my friends, by their generous advocacy, have shown that they need no denial thereof; but, to the public at large, I would simply state that they never had any foundation save in the base imagination of one who, having proven himself recreant to his country and his God, is eminently capable of any falsehood calculated to direct attention from his own shortcomings.

“Although a momentary sufferer by the action of the military authorities, I am, nevertheless, proud to serve a government which thus shows its determination to watch with jealous eye the conduct of its officers,wherever they may be ; and shall have every cause of complaint removed if I am afforded an early opportunity of explaining my whole conduct as an officer and a gentleman while in the hands of the enemy.

“Very respectfully, &c.,
"JAS. M. SANDERSON,

"Lt. Cot. & C. S. V."

Early in May, the Government officially promulgated the exchange of all prisoners, to the 7th of that month. Having periodically advised the Department to which I belonged (the Subsistence) of my position and whereabouts, I nevertheless considered it my duty to address the following communication to the Adjutant General's office :

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" Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, A. A. G.,

War Department,

“Washington, D. C.-“ COLONEL: Informed through the daily papers of this date that an Exchange has been declared of all prisoners paroled prior to May 7th, I hasten to lay before you the copy of an order which condemns me to remain here indefinitely, awaiting confirmation of charges which have no foundation save in the base imagination of a cowardly slanderer.

You will perceive by the wording of that order that I am required to remain at my home, and hold myself (prepared to meet, at any time or place, any charges that may be preferred against me by any officer who was a prisoner of war with me in Richmond. Two months have now elapsed, and the bitterest of my enemies are at this moment within the control of the Government; and as none of them have yet dared to add perjury to their other crimes, the probabilities are that the war will be finished before I can establish my innocence or prove by my future conduct the utter falsity of their insinuations.

" Engaged in this contest as a matter of religion, and proud of the commission I have the honor to hold, I do not desire to remain in the rear during these stirring times, or retain that commission as a sinecure as long as there is anything to be done suited to my capacity or my strength ; and I, therefore, most respectfully but earnestly request that I may be, at the earliest practicable moment, either trusted or tried-feeling

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