plain. I now propose to controvert your positions, knowing the danger I encounter.
Nothing, it seems, can be done for my neglected officers under the legislation as it now exists. How does it happen that so much has been done for others, their juniors, under this same legislation? You acknowledge this in your letter. you admit one case in Colonel Wheeler. Others present themselves to my mind. A private in one of my companies, a gentleman of high attainments and merit, only equaled by his modesty, was offered the colonelcy of a regiment. He declined it in favor of one of my regular officers, but saying "If civilians must be appointed, then I will accept." He was at once commissioned, and removed from a position he adorned on my staff to one he was unprepared to fill. He will in time make a fine officer, but those he preferred seeing appointed were already made. Other regiments raised at the same time were officered by civilians in the same way. All of my staff officers here of the old Regular Army, the first to quit it, some even before their States seceded, were allowed to rest in subordinate positions, while their inferiors in rank, of the eleventh-hour converts and civilians, were placed over their heads. Certainly the legislation of congress never required this. You now propose that whenever I can spare them you will find means to give hem increased rank in the Provisional Army. I will not spare them if I can help it, nor are they desirous of leaving me, but I claim consideration for them equal to that accorded to their inferiors in other armies. My officers and myself have remained at our posts faithfully laboring in the cause we so early espoused. We have not united in the "On to Richmond," seeking high places. We considered it unmilitary and unbecoming. We were ardently serving the cause, not ourselves, but, nevertheless, we did not suppose our Government would so soon forget we were in its service and degrade us. This state of things, my dear sir, we believe has been brought about to some extent without the knowledge of the President and against his wishes, but it is nevertheless a rankling sore, which he only can cure. I am candid, perhaps harsh, but I am doing him more service than by permitting the evil to grow while he is in ignorance. I do not hesitate to say, "I impugn the action of your predecessor." He has done the service more harm in the Cabinet than he will ever repair in the field.
Let me now appeal to you for an old brother soldier, who is more aggrieved and with more cause than any of us. Brigadier-General Ruggles first reported to me as second in command under the impression derived from the Adjutant-General, and I believed it from the precedence given his name in his order. We soon learned that Brigadier-General Anderson, his junior by many years in the old service, and it is no disparagement to say very far hiss inferior as a soldier, was his senior in rank. General Ruggles, soon after raising this question, was ordered to New Orleans, as a means, we hoped, of removing this case of complaint. What was his and our dismay, then, to learn that another junior, just from the enemy, who had been up to a late hour lecturing them on the art and science of war, was promoted over his head, and assigned to a command the highest and most important in the Southern country. That command includes my home and fireside, and all that is dear to me in life. I can appreciate the feeling of sullen dissatisfaction which pervades my neighbors. The appointee is competent, but he does not and cannot possess the confidence of many who look with district on his eleventh-hour conversion. A great element of strength is thus lost to us. You will never preserve the morale of this army by thus degrading the commanders they so much admire and love. The feeling of dis-