of these had been removed; that a graver difficulty existed in the conduct of the President towards him; that the President did not appreciate him, and had intentionally and systematically slighted and overshadowed him; that his removal to another field would furnish no relief as he would everywhere find himself ranked by men whom he had commanded; that he had let himself down by accepting the commission of brigadier-general in the first place; that no argument against his resignation was of any avail with him now, an that he would be "sunk into the bottom of the sea before he would continue to hold his commission any longer." In this temper it was he left Columbus, having first arranged for getting up expressions of sympathy among the troops, and through them among the people and the press, as a basis for operating on the President and inducing or constraining his promotion to the office of major-general. Failing in accomplishing that object and finding himself without a satisfactory reason to assign to the War Department for his resignation, he trumped up the list of grievances contained in his letter to the Secretary, all of which by his own confession had been disposed of already.
When promotion was the object it was the "ingratitude, the prejudice, or the dullness of the President in appreciating merit that moved him to resign." Failing to bring this home either to the mind of the President or the people with sufficient power to secure his promotion, it became necessary to find a reason for retaining the rank held, and therefore the change of tactics.
The real ground for his resignation, then, was to be found in the series of wrongs he professed to have suffered at my hands, and notwithstanding, "if he was transferred to another field he would be overshadowed by officers whom he had commanded," yet by that means his services might be retained, and he actually caused an announcement of the prospect of such a change of commanders to be made in the newspapers as his excuse for withdrawing his resignation, notwithstanding that transfer was to the command of one of those very subordinates by subjecting himself to whose command he had confessed he would be degraded.
But this letter of General Pillow's to Mr. Benjamin is of such an extraordinary character it is necessary to notice it in detail-an office I would gladly have avoided, as it will compel me, if it be discharged at all, to discharge it with a directness and fidelity which, while not in accordance with my taste or feeling, is yet demanded by the occasion, and due to the country and to truth.
Having known him well for many years, and received from him frequently the most earnest protestations of personal esteem and regard, I was, nevertheless, not surprised upon my taking command at Memphis to find him exhibiting petty jealousies, indulging in disingenuous criticism, and conducting himself generally as towards a rival to be undermined and supplanted, rather than towards a brother officer in the commission of the Government, to whom a manly patriotism required he should give a generous support.
This temper runs through the whole of the letter under review. His first charge is,"That Major-General Polk took from me by orders successively three quartermasters, two commissaries, my surgeon, engineer, and ordnance officer, and assigned none others, with this exception, viz, when he took my last quartermaster, he issued an order appointing a citizen of Memphis quartermaster with the rank of captain, and assigned him to duty with my division."
To this my reply is, inn the first place, it is not true, in the form in