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HEADQUARTERS, 15TH ARMY CORPS,
I now know the secret of this last tirade against me personally.
Of course newspaper correspondents regard me as the enemy of their class. I announced that all such accompanying the expedition were and should be treated as spies. They are^spies because their publications reach the enemy, give them direct and minute information of the composition of our forces, and while invariably they puff /up their patrons, they pull down all others. Thus this man Knox, dating his paper upon the Steamer Continental, the headquarters of Generals Steele and Blair, gives to these general officers and their division undue praise, and libels and abuses all others. This not only plays into the hands of our enemies by' sowing dissensions among us, but it encourages discontent among the officers who find themselves abused by men seemingly under the influence of officers high in command. I caused Knox's communication to be read to him, paragraph by paragraph, and then showed him my instructions, by my orders made at the time, and the official reports of others, and how wide he was of the truth. *And now I have asked his arrest and trial by General Grant, on charges as a spy and informer. The 57th Article of war, which is a Law of Congress, is as follows : " Who shall be convicted of holding correspondence with, or giving intelligence to the enemy, either directly or indirectly, shall suffer death, &c." I will endeavor to bring in all the facts, by means of the evidence of officers who took part in all these events. 'My purpose is not to bring Knox to death or other severe punishment, but I do want to establish the principle that citizens shall not, against the orders of the competent military superior, attend a military expedition, report its proceedings, and comment on its officers. . . Affectionately your Brother,
- William Sherman