Sherman had Thomas arrest the New York Herald reporter Keim because he revealed publicly that Sherman’s troops had possession of Johnston’s semaphore code. While he could in theory had shot him as a spy, Thomas just kicked him out of the war zone.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Near Kenesaw Mountain, Ga., June 30, 1864 -2.15 p.m.
Major General J. B. McPHERSON,
Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: Your note* concerning Keim, the correspondent of the New York Herald, was handed to me by one of your aides. I don not know why General Sherman should have ordered him to be sent to me for punishment, as I did not know anything about him.he appears to be an honest- looking man, and on your own recommendation of leniency of punishment, and as he has not been with my army, I will have him sent north of the Ohio River, with orders not to return to this army during the war.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.