This is not an ideal, but a sketch of Taylor when general of the little army, many of whom would no sooner have questioned his decisions, or have shrunk from him in the hour of danger than if he had been their farther. The other point was the necessity for unity in the Army of the Potomac. The embarrassment was felt and the sentiment of commanders appreciated, but rivalry, running into jealousy, is the unavoidable attendant of difference in the discipline, the usage, and the supplies of camps. How much more so must it be when corps are associated together, with the inevitable diversity resulting from control by different minds, and in which a reference is made to distinct antecedents, which have never disappeared by a visible transition from the existence under independent heads.
I have had applications made to me from transfer from one corps to another, and among the reasons given was that the sick of one were permitted to go to the hospital, when under like circumstances they were in the other confined to their encampments.
Mr. Benjamin informed me that you had expressed the wish, in the event of your corps being made an undivided portion of the army, to be relieved and sent to New Orleans. If I had thought you could be dispensed with, it would have given me pleasure long since to have relieved the solicitude of the people of New Orleans by sending your there; but I cannot anticipate the time when it would seem to me proper to withdraw you from the position with which you are so intimately acquainted, and for which you have shown yourself so eminently qualified. Nor have I felt that to another could be transferred the moral power you have over the troops you have commanded. My appreciation of you as a soldier and my regard for you as a man cannot permit me willingly to would your sensibility or to diminish your sphere of usefulness.
Very truly, your friend,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, October 17, 1861.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Manassas, Va.:
SIR: I have your letter of the 9th instant,* in which you state that if you are no longer in command of an army corps, you request to be relieved forthwith from your present false position. In reply, I beg to say, in all kindness, that it is not your position which is false, but your idea of the organization of the Army as established by the act of Congress, and I feel confident you cannot have studied the legislation of Congress in relation to the Army. You are second in command of the whole Army of the Potomac, and not first in command of half the army. The position is a very simple one, and if you will take the pains to read the sixth section of the "Act to provide for the public defense," approved the 6th of March, 1861, you will see that the President has no authority to divide an army into two corps d'armee, but only into brigades and divisions. Now, your rank being superior to that of commander of a brigade or a division, and there being no other component parts into which an army can be legally divided, you necessarily command the whole army; but having present with you an officer of equal grade, but older commission, who also commands the whole army, you become second in command.