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consideration I find that the letter which I referred to, the official
letter which I said was reported to the War Department for General
Belknap's information with regard to post-traders, was written at
Fort Buford, and not at Fort Hays ; and that would make it aft«r I
had testified to the House committee, and not before it. So that I
wish to change my testimony in that respect. It was written after,
and not before, as I supposed yesterday.

By Mr. Carpenter :

Q. Is that the letter which you read here yesterday ?

A. No ; there was another one before that which I referred to.
That is not the one I referred to. There is another letter on the snb*

Q. Did you ever write to Secretary Belknap more than one letter
in your life on that subject ?

A. Not to him directly ; but one to him. That was the one.

Q. Which one did you send to him directly ?

A. The one which was read yesterday I sent him directly, but that
was not the one I referred to in my testimony yesterday. The one I
referred to in my testimony yesteioay was a letter written to the Ad-
jutant-General of the Army.

Q. Did you say in the testimony which you gave before the com-
mittee that you had written a letter to Secretary Belknap on thai
subject ?

A. I did.

Q. You now find that you had not ?

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A. It was Intended

Q. Answer the question. Ton now find oat that at the time you
testified before the committee you had not written to General Bel-

A. I did not intend

Q. I do not ask you what yon intended. Here is a distinct qnes-
tion, which can be answered *' yes " or " no." I ask yon, do yon now
find out that at the time yon gave yonr testimony before the commit-
tee yon had not written to General Belknap f

A. Not personally.

Q. Ton swore yon had, did you not T

A. I thought I had.

Q. Did you not swear that yon had, without any thinking about
it T [Presenting printed slip.] I will ask you if you wrote a letter
of which that is a copy T You seem to be considerable of a corre-

A. [Examining paper.] I did write it

Q. Will you read it t

The witness proceeded to read as follows:

Cmr OP Mexico, IforcA 15.
Hon. HnsTBB Cltmsb.
Deab Sib:—

Mr.THURMAlf. What year?

The Witness. March 15, 1876.

Mr. CARPENTER. Hand it to the Secretary to read. It is in

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Let me see it one moment before it is
read, Mr. Secretary.

Mr. Manager LAPHAM. I do not see what that has to do with this

Mr. CARPENTER. You will see after you hear it.

Q. (By Mr. Thurman.} Did you write a letter to the Adjutant-
General on the subject of post-traderships before you testified to the
House committee T

A. My impression Is that I did. I wrote letters on that subject. I
am under the impression I wrote to the Adjutant-General of the

Q. Before you testified then f

A. I think so ; I am not prepared to say.

Q. (By Mr. Carpentbr.) Did you not state in your testimony be-
fore the committee that you had written to the Secretary of War on
the subject f

A. I did ; but I was not certain whether it was before or after.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I have no objection to this letter being

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Secretary will read it.

The Chief Clerk read as follows:

WAsmNOTOV, March SO.

The foIk>wiiig letter wm received recently by the chairman of the Committee on
Sxpenditnres in the War Department:

Hon. HnsiBB Cltmkb :

Cnr OF Mrxico, March 15.

Dbab Snt : The papers of the 4th instant brought me the result of the Belknap
InyesticatiQn. By referring to the proceedings of the Honse Military Committee
of March, 1879, you will find precisely the same information given by me then as
that upon which your investigation was f onnded. Mr. Smallov, the then clerk of
that committee, published in the New York Tribune the purport of my evidence,
which only referred to the black-mailing of the post-traders and not to the final dis-
position of the money ; but he added to it the presumptive disposition, which is now
proved to have been true. The Secretary of "War took the newspaper paragraph
to the President, as he has since said, remarking: "Mr. President, have you seen
the article in the New York Tribune of this morning referring to me? " To which
the President replied: "I have, ai^d do not belive a word of it." The Secretary
then said : " If yon do believe it, I am no longer fit to hold a place in your Cabi-
net" This was the end of the matter both wi^ the President and Congress, leav-
ing it a question of veracity between the Secretary and myself.

I have waited patiently four years, never doubting I shall be finally vindicated,
though at times feeUng very heavily the weight of displeasure of those high in

e»wer for daring to tell the truth respecting the great outrage upon the Army,
y otiJect from the first was not only to relieve the Army from this outrage, but
to obtain the execution of a most excellent law passed in 186tf, requiring the Com-
missary Department to furnish to enlisted men at cost the articles usually furnished
them l^ settlers. This most admirable arrangement, which is virtually carried

and value were given to the post-traderships which ooulube done in no other way.
The law itself has even been omitted from the Kevised Statutes. To secure th'is
most useful end was my only purpose. In the autumn of 1875 theSectetary visited
my post, receiving my most cordial hospitality, which was fully accepted. I
thought this a proper occasion for a renewal of our old and friendly relations, as
we had served together in the war. I therefore wrote him a sincere letter looUng
to such a result, though I felt entitled to some reparation, having for fonryears
experienced a full sense of the wrong infiicted upon me by the Secretary in hb vir-
tual denial to the President of my truthful report The Secretary did not see fit
to reply to my letter. I then concluded to let the matter rest, hoptaig only for the
partial reparation that time gives all wrongs, when your letter in January, as
chairman of pneof the committees of Congress, called for the information furnished
you. For your compliance with my request not to bring my name forward in con-
nection with the investigation, I tunder you my th^nk% ana now release yon from
further obligations in that respect
Very respectfully, ^tc,


Q. (By Mr. Carpenter.) Yon have felt a little interest abont this
inipeachmenty have you not, all along f

A. Some interest in it.

Q. Yon took some interest in it beoanse yon thought yon were go-
lug to get vindicated, did yon not f

A. I do not know that that was the reason. I took the ordinary in-
terest which I do in matters of this kind.

Q. Did yon not take a little more interest in this impeachment than
yon ever took in anybody else's impeachment f

A. I never had anything to do with anybody else's impeachment.

Q. Or any other lawsuit ? Have you not been pretty active now
in the press and in all ways setting this thing going f

A. Somewhat so.

Q. Is that any portion of the duty of the colonel of a regiment f

A. No more his duty than that of any citizen.

Q. Is not the colonel of a regiment bound hj regulations, if he
knows anything against any officer, to furnish it in some official way
and form, and not scandalize him in a newspaper T

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Was he Secretary of War after the
letter was writt-en f I think that is a little late.

Mr. CARPENTER. It was still later when he ought to have made
his report.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I am speaking about this letter. I
think you called him Secretary of War.

Mr. CARPENTER. You call him "the late Secretary of War."
That will do. (To the witness.) How many other articles have you
written on the subject ?

A. I do not know. I do not remember writing any.

Q. You do not remember writing Bsxy for pubboation f

A. I do not remember writing any.

Q. Who wrote that article published in the New York Tribune t

A. At what time f

Q. The article that was read here in this trial. There has been but
one article.

Mr. Manager HOAR. February 15. 1872.

Q. (By Mr. Carpenter.) About the tradership at Fort Sill f

A. I did not write it.

Q. Do ydu know who did f

A. I suppose Mr. Smalley did.

Q. Did you furnish him the information npon which he wrote the

A. I furnished the information out of which the letter was written.

Q. You speak here of having sustained some grievous wrongs at
the hands of the Secretary. You swore yesterday that he never had
done an act of injustice to you that you were aware of. Now, what
did you mean when you wrote this letter ?

A. I was under the impression that he had from time to time been
inimical to me and that I had suffered thereby.

Q. You swore yesterday that he never did an act of injustice to you
and had done some favors, or tried to do some. What did you mean
when you wrote in this letter of the grievous wrong done to you by
the Secretary of War f Did you mean anything, or was it just the
common impulse to jump on after a man is down T Is that it f

A. Not at aU.

Q. Then state what the motive was.

A. I believed that he had made me unpopular with my officers.

Q. Is it true that you are unpopular in tne Army f

A. I do not know that it is.

Q. Then how did you think he made you soT What made yon
think that he had made you unpopular, or apparently unpopular,
with the officers?

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I think that would be very easily an-
swered if the Secretary of War was inimical to him.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The counsel have the witness.

Q. (By Mr. Carpenter.) Let us know abont that.

A. I supposed in a general way that he was unfriendly to me.

Q. What made you suppose so f

A. His manner to me.

Q. What was his manner to you f Did he ever treat you otherwise
than as a gentleman f If so, when and where f

A. I cannot specify times.

Q. Can you state the fact that he ever did f

A. I was under that impression.

Q. Yon know how to troat a gentleman and you know when yon
are treated like a gentleman, do you not f Now, I ask you if he
ever treated you in any other way ; and, if so, when was it uid where
was it f

A. I am unable to give times and places.

Q. Are yon able to say that he ever treated yon in an ungentle-
manly manner ?

A. I believed so at that time.

Q. You believed so. You knew whether he had or not, or has your
standard of gentlemanly demeanor changed since that time f How
is that t

A. I do not feel like answering.

Q. I did not think you would, and I will excuse you. How do you
know what Gtoneral Belknap said to the President on this subject f
Did you hear it f

A. I heard it firom several people.

Q. Did yon hear the conversation f

A. No, I did not hear the conversation.

Q. Then on mere hearsay yon, being an officer of the Army, sat
down and wrote a letter over your own signature relating a conver-
sation held with the Commander-in-Chief of the Army f That is what
yon did, was it not f

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A. I only knew that oonversation from others T

Q. Then yon did not know it at all f

A. I did not know it from hearinjc it directly.

Q. Is it according to discipline in the Army for an officer to pub-
lish scandal of the President which he knows nothing abont except
&om hearsay f

Bir. Manager McBlAHON. I most at this point enter an objection.
It seems that my friend here is pursuing the old line, having the old
misapprehension that every now and then crops out in this case. The
misapprehension is that he is trying General Hazen and not General
Belknap. I think I may make the remark that the conduct of the
counsel of General Belknap in this particular case to General Hazen
indicates very clearly that the apologetic letter that was written by
General Hazen to General Belknap failed to reach the right spot in
that gentlemanlscompositioD.

Mr. CARPENTER • I understood the manager only wanted to make
a little speech on the merits. Did he object to the question f

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I objected to the question.

Mr. CAR]^NTER. Mr. President, this witness has been laboring
for months to get up this impeachment for his own vindication. He
comes back here tcKday for explanation, and I am doing everything
in my power to assist his purpose. I want to show what his motives
have heen ; I want to show that they are utterly groundless : I want
to show that he has violated all the proprieties and all the duties of
his official station bj the hand he has taken in this matter and his
anxiety to fan pubbo sentiment against General Belknap, who has
never done him an iivjury in his life-time, and who had shown him so
many favors that General Sherman objected to his gi vine him an-
other ; and that is the man who repeats gossip against the President
and against the then Secretary of War, and publishes it in letters over
his own name ! When we see the name of an Army officer published
in print we think we have struck truth. The line of honor in the
Army is drawn more distinctly and is more rigidly enforced than per-
haps in almo^ saij class of any community ; the letter of an Army
officer carries conviction with it; and I want to show here, and show
fully, that all that has been done b^ him has been not in the line of
his duty, but in violation of it, a^mst the President of the United
States, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and that his charges are
wholly untrue ; that General Belknap never did him an injury ; that
he has conferred upon him so many favors that General Sherman
would not let him confer another.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Mr. President, I am right in the surmise
that I made in the opening, that the counsel had imbibed the senti-
ment and the feeling of the client in this case in regard to, I will say,
the distinguished witness who is upon the stand. Now, Senators, let
us rehearse the facts in this case up to a certain point, and then remem-
ber and call to mind the tirade made against this witness by the gen-

Mr. CARPENTER. I rise to a point of order.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I do not submit to a point of order.

Mr. CARPENTER. You have got to; you cannot help that. I
make the ^oint of order on the counsel that in arguing a question on
the admissibility of testimony he cannot sum up the case.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I do not propose to do that. I propose
to sum up in re^rd to this particular witness all the facts yon have
now been alludmg to.

Mr. CARPENTER. The point is you cannot do it.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Ton cannot make a speech and shut me
off, when by law I have the close. You cannot do it.

The PRESIDENT pro Umpcre. The manager will confine himself
to the oueetion.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. The gentleman makes a speech to this
court to prejudice this witness in the mind of this court, and upon
what f That he has been making false statements. Was it not true
that in 1872 Caleb P. Marsh was milking John S. Evans, and was it
not true that he was milking him to give one-half of the proceeds to
the Secretary of, War T He only stated the half of the truth ; he only
stated that Marsh was getting the money from Evans. He did not
state the other part of it.

Mr. CARPENTER. You will spoil your final speech entirely.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I have no final speech.

The PRESIDENT iwo tempore. The manager has the floor. Collo-
quies will not be peimitted.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I will say that I have no objection to
the interruptions.

Mr. CARPENTER. It is all friendly between us.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Of course we so understand. When
this officer was summoned as a witness before the Military Committee
in 1872, what did he testify to t Did he say one word reflecting upon
the Secretary of War T Not one word. The article in the New York
Tribune, about which so much fuss was made, expressly sa^s that of
course the Secretary of War knows nothing about those things, and
it was expected that when information was brought to his ears that
these grievances existed he, like an upright and honorable man, would
have corrected them. Whatthen f Hehas never implicated the Secre-
tanr of War; he has never made the slightest {Elusion to him; but we
find^and now I am compelled, I may say t4) the gentleman, to go back
toapoint that we had conceded in this case — that the heavy handof the
superior officer does lie over the head of this young man in the serv-
ice of his country ; we find that while he does not give us any dis-

tinct instance except as he did in his examination in chief, his com-
mand is ordered here and there, and he not sent with it ; we find tiiat
he is under the conviction for three long years that he is oppressed
by the Secretary of War. Then they have a personal interview, in
which they come to a mutual explanation. He writes a humble
ai>ology, such an apolo^ as nobody but an inferior under the strict
military rules wouicL write to a superior officer.

Mr. CARPENTER. That is rougher on him than anything I have

Mr. Manager McMAHON. You never fully appreciate the rough-
ness of what you do say, sir.

Mr. CARPENTER. That may be.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Now when in the lapse of years this
matter is brought up General Hazen is called here as a witness^ and
what does he testify to, what important fact ? He does not testify to
any personal knowledge of the payment of money by Evans to Maish ;
he does not implicate the Secretary of War ; he simply testifies here,
(and that is tne sum and substance of his testimony so far as it is
^ven,) that General Belknap never called to see him about it. That
IS the sum and substance of General Hazen's testimony in this case ;
and the honorable Senate will bear me witness that it is all we put
him on the stand for, all that we argued to get in that the Secretary
of War knew that General Hazen was responsible for this statement,
and never came to him to inquire where he got his information in
order that, like a true officer, ne might correct It. And because he
has dared upon my subpcDua to come into this court and to say that
General Belknap never spoke to him about it, therefore the old venom,
as it were, sticks out in regard to this matter, and he must be treated
by the counsel in this case in a manner that cannot be justified ex-
cept that it be the reflex of the sentiment of the defendaut in regard
to nim, and in that light we accept it.

Now I say in the interest of the speedy trial of this case, although
I may be taking a few more minutes in tne argument, that I call back
the attention of this court to the question that is at issue in the case.
I object to this line of examination, and I do not see how any good
lawyer can say that the objection is not well founded.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Objection is made by the managers
to further questious by the counsel of the witness.

Mr. CARPENTER. The objection is not to all questions, but to this
particular question. Let it be read.

The reporter read the question, as follows:

Q. Is it aooordioff to disdpUne in the Army for an officer to pnbUah soandftl of
the President which he knows nothing ftbont except from hearsay t

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Shall this interrogatory be admitted?

The question was decided in the negative.

O. (By Mr. Cabpenter.) You say in that letter that the law to
wmoh you referred as being such an excellent one was left out of
the Revised Statutes. Turn to page 207 and see about the law that
yon referred to.

A. 1 will say that the law I referred to I was mistaken about.

Q. It is in the Revised Statutes f

A. It is in the Revised Statutes, although I looked for it very care-
fully at that time and could not find it.

Mr. CARPENTER. That is all.

Mr. Manager McBiAHON. No more questions of this witness.

Hon. HiESTBR Cltmbr sworn and examined.
By Mr. Manager McMahon :

Question. Ton are a member of Congress f

Answer. I am.

Q. Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the War De-
partment f

A. lam.

Q. That committee had charge of an investigation into the Fort
Sill business?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. State whether Mr. Bfarsh was snbposnaed before your committee
and gave testimony there.

A. He was snpcDuaed and gave testimony before the committee.

Q. Has the testimony as he gave it before the committee been pub-
lished by order of the House!

Mr. CARPENTER. That we object to.

Q. (By Mr. Manager McMahox.) Look at this, and see if it is the
original testimony taken in the case. [Handing a manuscript to the

A. I presume it to be ; it is in my own handwriting.

Q. Is it all there f

A. I can only answer that question accurately by reading it all ;
but if this was obtained from the Clerk of the House

Mr. Manager McMAHON. It was ; he produced it here.

A. Then I ^ould say with that reservation that I believe it to be
the testimony taken.

Q. Does it appear to be signed by Caleb P. Marsh f

A. I know that the evidence was signed in my presence. I find
his signature here.

Q. Have you got the sheets in order there f

A. Yes, sir.

Q. After the testimony of Mr. Marsh was taken, state what action

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yonr committee took in regard to it so for as the Secretary of War
was concerned^

Mr. CARPENTER. I object to that Let ns know what the object
of that is.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I will state briefly what we propose to
show. We propose to put in evidence the fact tuat the witness Marsh
was examined ; that his testimony was reduced to writine ; that the
Secretary of War was officially notified of the fact ; uiat he ap-
peared ; that the testimony was read over to him ; that he took time
to consult ; that he finally came in and presented his resignation to
the committee, from which we shall draw our inferences as far as the
situation permits. That is all.

Mr. CAkPENTER. I want to make a little suggestion to the
managers at this point. I had supposed that the order made by the
court precluded all the subjects set forth in our pleadings prior to the
three-weeks consultation of the court ; but if that is to be opeued,
if that is a question that can be gone into here, we propose to play
several tunes to that key.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I think the counsel misunderstands the
purpose, and before he sits down I should like to state to him, as he
nas the right to reply, that the purpose is not anythiug but this :
Here is a party confronted with an accusation. How does he meet
it t Does he deny it f Does he ask to cross-examine the witness f
Does ho dispute the truth of the statements, or does he admit it, or does
he resign f The strength of the conclusion that may be drawn from
the conduct depends upon the importance of the conduct that may
have taken place. In this case we all know as a matter of fact that
ho resigned. From that we propose to draw such conclnsion as in
our jncTgment the law will warrant us to draw.

As my colleague. Judge Ho Alt, suggests to me, it is substantially proof
that the defendant has fled from justice — I do not mean fled from
impeachment, but fled from his office, fled from position, gone out of
his place— which is always substantially admitting the truth of the
statomeniB therein contained.

Mr. CARPENTER. In other words, that he has risen to the dig-
nity of a private citizen, clearing himself from the annoyance that
visits every man in public life ; and that is evidence against the de-
fendant, is it f The proposition here of course includes the reading
of all that evidence.

Mr. Bianager McMAHON. It does.

Mr. CARPENTER. What purpose may you read that evidence for t
The proi>06ition substantially is that they shall read all the evidence
that was given by Marsh before the House committee and which
they say was read to General Belknap. That testimony could be
competent for nothing except to impeach Mr. Marsh, and they can-
not impeach him because he is their own witness.

Now the question is whether that testimony shall be read over for
the mere purpose of proving after the testimony has been read what
our plea declares, what is admitted through the whole record in the
articles of impeachment and in the entire defense, that he resigned
on a certain day. If the managers propose to go into that subject
apart from the testimony of Mr. Marsh, which we shall object to for
other reasons, if they propose to open the issues which they made on
our plea in abatement, we shall of course follow it up with proof
and shall offer to prove that that committee made the distinct propo-
sition to Mr. Belknap that if he resigned before twelve o'clock of the
next day there would be no impeachment, and that he brought the

Online LibraryUnited States. CongressCongressional record : proceedings and debates of the ... Congress → online text (page 112 of 172)