HEADQUARTERS VALLEY RIVER, September 14, 1861.
General S. COOPER,
GENERAL: In compliance with your letter of the 7th instant containing instructions from the President I addressed to the general commanding the forces of the enemy in my front the letter of the 13th instant of which I send you a copy, and received from him to-day the accompanying reply.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS CAMP ON VALLEY RIVER,
September 13, 1861.
The GENERAL COMMANDING U. S. TROOPS,
GENERAL: It has been reported to the President of the Confederate States that Andrew J. Moore and Ellis Houchers, citizens of Pocahontas County, Va., were arrested about the 1st ultimo by a party of armed men and carried to your camp at the top of Cheat Mountain; that subsequently they were carried to your camp at Beverly; were there tried by a court-martial, condemned and executed. It is stated that the crime alleged against these men was the suspicion that they belonged to a party of eight who had two days before encountered a detachment of your troops on the banks of the Greenbrier River, when some of the latter were shot but in which encounter they had no participation. The reported execution of these men has been presented to the President in such a credible shape that I have been instructed by him to send to you under a flag a report of the case, and to require that you deliver to me as criminals the perpetrators of the act or avow your responsibility for the same.
HEADQUARTERS, September 14, 1861.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding Confederate Forces in Tygart's Valley.
GENERAL: In answer to your inquiry relating to Messrs. Andrew J. Moore and Ellis Houchers (we have it Houchin) I have to say that the report of their trial and execution at Beverly is wholly unfounded. They were sent to Wheeling, Va., Angust 5.
I avail myself of this opportunity to state that the language of the latter part of your communication is exceptional. "The perpetrators of the act" who carry out the sentence of a court-martial could not be regarded as criminals in any sense and the avowal of responsibility referred to would be an act of superfluity.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours
J. J. REYNOLDS,
SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pgs. 1379-1380
Promote Your Page Too