“The fact is I never dreamed of so serious a telegraphic hoax emanating through St. Louis”

Wrote Maj. Gen. Henry Hallack, “Your second dispatch saying ‘It is most extraordinary that you (I) should have obeyed a telegram sent by an unknown person & not even purporting to have been given by authority,’ is received.

“In justice to myself I must reply to this telegram.  In the first place I never thought of doubting the authority of a telegram received from St. Louis, supposing that, in Military matters, the telegraph was under such surveillance that no military order could be passed over the wires that was not by authority;  second, the signature to the telegram was made with so many flourishes that I could not make it out at all, and to send a copy to your Head Quarters was obliged to send to the office here for a duplicate;  third, before this telegraph was received, Capt. Livingston, who came here in charge of these prisoners, reported to me that several who were to come had proven to be imposters, and that he had reason to  believe that two of those still with him were under assumed names;  fourth, directions sufficient to detain prisoners (Camp Jackson exchanged prisoners) might come from the Provost Martial’s office, from Gen. Curtis’ or from Head Quarters, and I do not know the employees of the former, nor the Staff of the latter.

“The fact is I never dreamed of so serious a telegraphic hoax emanating through a large and responsible office like that in St. Louis.  Enclosed I send you a copy of the dispatch received.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3 p 316-7

O.R., II, i, 121

The dispatch received read, “The D.G. Taylor left here at one pm today.  Stop her and send back all the Camp Jackson men.  They all have assumed names.”

Comments are closed.