War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 1015 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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to Richmond; Conrow is there; Johnson is among the mountains of Virginia; Norton is here; Wilkes in this State; Hatcher with Johnston's army. Some one of us will remain at Richmond all the time in order to attend to any business which may require our presence there, but most of us will keep away till the meeting of Congress, which convenes on the first Monday of November. I had long interviews with the President, Secretary of War, and General Bragg, and explained to them fully the condition of affairs in the trans- Mississippi, particularly to the President and General Bragg. Whilst I endeavored to give the President a faithful account of the campaign in Arkansas, I was careful to avoid the appearance of partisanship for you, so as not to excite his prejudices. Whether these are any less strong against you I could not discover. I do not think that he has any intention of promoting either Churchill, Parsons, or Marmaduke. He seems to think (as does General Bragg) that it would be better to consolidate the army into fewer and stronger brigades and divisions rather than to keep on fragmenting it for the sake of increased patronage into nominal and insignificant commands. He was very accurately informed as to the strength and organization of the several brigades and divisions, and pretty well advised as to the characteristics of the general officers. I was astonished to hear him declare, too, that the practical experiences of the war were of more worth than education at West Point, and that any civilian general of capacity ought to have long ago learned more than any officer of the old army knew at the opening ofthe war. He told me that he sent General Buckner to the trans- Mississippi in view o a movement into Missouri, as he thought that his popularity with the Kentuckians)of whom the population of Missouri is largely composed) would make him a very useful participator in that campaign. Would it not be well to place him in command of all your cavalry! No one could object to serving under him, neither Fagan, Cabell, nor Marmaduke, and his appointment to that command and the reduction of Marmaduke to the command of his brigade would put an end to the constant intriguing of the latter for promotion and go far to stop the grumbling of Cabell, who could not patiently endure Marmaduke's continuance in command of a division, whilst himself retained in command of a brigade. This arrangement would also serve to free your very best cavalry officer (Shelby) from the hampering influence of Marmaduke's incompetency and enable him to do great and splendid service. The Arkansas cavalry ought to be put into one brigade under Cabell, and the Missouri into tow under Marmaduke and Shelby,a nd the whole organized into a division under either Buckner or Fagan. Until you shall have so organized that command it will be torn by rivalries, jealousies,and intrigues, and you will be the constant object oft he malevolent attacks of Marmaduke and his friends, who look upon you as the obstacle in the way of his promotion. As long as he remains in command of division he will have a claim to promotion to the rank appropriate to that command, and will distract your army by his intrigues to obtain it. Organize your army so as to place him in his appropriate command, that of a brigade,and the footing will be knocked from under his intrigues. You will have need of both Fagan and Buckner,one to command the cavalry and the other the infantry, which later ought to be again consolidated into one division. The refusal of the President to promote Churchill and Parsons shows conclusively that he will not regard their commands as division, and the President is right. However much I desire the promotion of those gentlemen, I cannot but feel that it is simply absurd to call their little commands divisions.