which it is put, so far as the commissaries and quartermasters are concerned; and in the second place he had no right, under any law or ordnance officer; and, thirdly, the appointment of Mr. Baugh as quartermaster, and his assignment to duty, was in perfect keeping with the invariable usage of the Tennessee Army, just transferred, and was sanctioned by the War Department as a necessarily; fourth and lastly, that as commander-in-chief of the army in which he held command it was competent for me alone to judge of the exigencies of the service, and I had the right, as well as the power, to assign staff officers to duty wherever they could be most useful.
The patriotic eagerness with which he repudiated "Citizen Quartermaster Baugh," and took the ground that he had been appointed only by the commanding general, and that to acknowledge him would be to allow of a trenching on the prerogative of the President, sat rather awkwardly on the lips of a man who at the same moment was clamorous for the services of another quartermaster whom he knew had precisely the same sort of commission, and none other. But the Secretary knew nothing of all this and the artful statement served a present purpose.
The second charge is, "That General Polk had issued orders to the general staff, prohibiting their receiving orders from any one but himself."
The "general staff" was my staff, and this order was issued to put a stop to irregularities arising from the obtrusive intermeddling of General Pillow with the general staff and as a rebuke to his misplaced and officious zeal.
The long story which he next introduces, and which he prefaces as "the circumstances which led to my resignation," concerning the perishing condition of the mules and horses and his zeal in saving them from destruction, is partly true and partly false. It is false that the mules and horses were dying at any time "in great numbers." There is, indeed, no proof they did at all for the want of food, for we were at no time in want of corn in the shuck or in sacks; our chief want was hay, of which the lack of transportation made it very difficult to keep an adequate supply. It is true that he spoke to me on the subject of a want of forage, stating that complaint had been made of the want of it, and that he had, as I heard afterwards, ordered the deport quartermaster to procure forage for the army. It is also true for that act of officiousness I rebuked him sharply and with difficulty abstained from placing him under arrest.
The story about the declaration of martial law, with the flourish about "tyrants and usurpers" and his "conscientious scruples about his transmitting his stainless name untarnished to the future historian of the war," resolves itself simply into a discussion as to the name proper to be given to an officer to be appointed and intrusted with the military police of the town of which he was himself already the military commandant; the question being whether that officer should be designated provost-marshal or chief of police, he taking ground against the former.
As to the statement about my "exasperation to excessive rage," I leave that to the contempt to which its shameless effrontery entitles it.
The next ground of complaint is one which is entirely new, of which, though in constant habits of intercourse with me after the event, I had never heard until I saw it inserted in this letter. It is in regard to the battle of Belmont, and constitutes, indeed, the only matter of any consequence in his communication.