Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/291
The Monument to Mosby's Men.
macy after the war had ended. The following is General Rosser's
"CHARLOTTESVILLE, November 23, 1899. "Major E. A. RICHARDS, Louisville, Ky.:
"My DEAR MAJOR, I saw a great deal of Custer while I was constructing the Northern Pacific R. R., in the Northwest, in the seventies, and had many talks over the war with him; and he often stated that he was in no way responsible for the execution or murder of those men.
" I have no doubt of Custer's innocence, for he was not in com- mand, and his superior officer was present; and it is not probable that such a matter would have been turned over to Custer under the circumstances. "Yours most truly,
"Tnos L. ROSSER."
This statement of General Rosser, supported as it is by the official record, seems to me to be conclusive, and the future historian must exonerate General Custer from the responsibility of the Front Royal
E. A. RICHARDS.
Louisville, Ky., November 30, 1899.
COLONEL MOSBY INDICTS CUSTER FOR THE HANGING.
SAN FRANCISCO, December 19, 1899. Mr. JOHN R. RUSSELL, Berry ville, Va.:
I was sorry I could not be with you at the unveiling of the monu- ment to our men at Front Royal, and I dissent from some historical statements in Major Richards' address. I do not agree with him that our men were hung in compliance with General Grant's orders to Sheridan. They were not hung in obedience to the orders of a superior, but from revenge. A man who acts from revenge simply obeys his own impulses. Major Richards says the orders were "a dead letter" after I retaliated, which implies that they had not been before. I see no evidence to support such a conclusion. In his letter in The Times, Major Richards says that Sheridan's dispatches about hanging our men were " visionary " ; i. f., he never hung any. If so, the order had always been "a dead letter." No one ever heard of his hangings until his dispatches were published a few years ago. Sheridan was then dead, but his posthumous memoirs say