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Arrest and Release of Col. John H. Jackson

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Morris Island, S. C., August 7, 1863.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:


SIR: I enclose a slip from the New York Weekly Times, of August, containing an extract from the Boston Transcript, giving information calculated to hazard the success of our operations here. Colonel Jackson, Third New Hampshire Volunteers, is now absent after drafted men for his regiment. His home is at Portsmouth, N. H. the depot for drafted men is at Concord. If he is guilty of furnishing the information accredited to him, he should be summarily dismissed the service, and I urgently request that the matter may receive your immediate attention. I have no doubt he furnished the information.

~ It is idle to attempt to hold regular newspaper correspondents to the observance of strict rules, when our own officers are allowed to furnish information to the enemy.


Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Q. A. GILLMORE, Brigadier- General, Commanding.




The Secretary of War directs that Colonel Jackson be ordered to Washington in arrest.


H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief






The Boston Transcript has the following information concerning the rebel works on Morris Island, derived from Col. J. H. Jackson, of the New Hampshire Third; who has arrived home:

Fort Wagner is a large and very strong work. In its capacious bomb-proof apartments it can shelter thousands of men. It was re-enforced just before the Federal assault on the 18th. In that attack a portion of the Union troops made their way to the walls of the fort, but could not scale the enemy’s defenses, and were there subject to the most destructive fire without chance of retaliating upon their foes. The guns from Fort Sumter command much of Morris Island, the shell from the fort passing over the Federal batteries and nearly to the rear of our position. The rebels may yet discover that the possession of Wagner is not a necessary preliminary to the reduction of Sumter. Certain batteries on Morris Island, where rifled guns of 4 miles range have been mounted, will soon, if they have not al- ready, open fire with similar results in regard to Sumter that were produced at Fort Pulaski. A battery of these effective cannon, bearing upon Fort Sumter, is not more than a mile and a half from this stronghold. When Fort Sumter is rendered powerless for mischief, Battery Bee, on Cummings Point, will be speedily captured, and Fort Wagner falls, as a matter of course. Notwithstanding the repulse of the 18th, the prospect of the ultimate reduction of the batteries protecting Charleston Harbor is therefore good, and it is so considered by all the officers engaged in the present movement against the cradle of secession.  


SOURCE: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 28 (Part II); pages 39-40.

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 31, 1863.


Col. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant- General:


SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this 1ate, directing me to state if I furnished the information which the Boston Transcript stated was derived from me. In reply, I would state that no such information was furnished by me. The reporter who made up the account in question has since stated to the editor that he did not obtain from me the information therein published. While in Boston I was in the Transcript office, and conversing with a friend in relation to the behavior of the Fifty- fourth Massachusetts Regiment (colored) at the charge on Fort Wagner,  July 18.


Very respectfully, your obedient Servant,


Colonel Third New Hampshire Volunteers.




 SEPTEMBER 1, 1863.


With this explanation, Colonel Jackson will be released from arrest and return to his dnties.


H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.



SOURCE: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 28 (Part II); page 71.