Secretary Scott is here, who fully understands the peculiarities and embarrassments of our condition, I asked him if he would explain it, and have given him your letter for that purpose.
Situated as we are here, and having at times received men from Saint Louis who were discharged from the Army after shipping in the flotilla, I naturally, even if not properly, applied the same rule or rate of pay as to them. It would be difficult, indeed, to go on with the flotilla, or even to keep the men, if we made a difference in persons performing the same duty now. It would lead to a stampede among them if we attempt to reduce their pay; and if it is to be charged against me by the Government, I must see the flotilla is not rendered ineffective, or keep up the rate of pay which I have instituted. Still the loss of half or all my pay which I have instituted. Still the loss of half or all my pay would in itself be a slight consideration to the mental agony and physical exhaustion which I have suffered for the last six months. No results, however successful, would at all compensate me for what I have suffered in the progress of our work. Although results which can tend to vindicate our right to retain all the States in the Union would be cheaply purchased at my sacrifice, and that of dozens like me, with a wounded foot keeping me on crutches, in great pain, leads me to say that whenever the Department is disposed to send any officer in my place I will willingly surrender my position to him.
The changing of crews, for want of men, from disabled to sound ships, with other difficulties, have rendered it impossible to keep the financial as well as all other departments of the flotilla to keep the financial as well as all other departments of the flotilla in that strict and correct form that in a regular service, belonging exclusively to either War or Navy Departments, would do; still, I write rather to explain why I consult Secretary Scott, and trust that you will appreciate my motives.
We move on Island Numbers 10 and New Madrid on Wednesday, and expect a fight at both places. I have sent Captain Wise to stop repairs on the Essex till the estimates are sent to you for approval.
I am required to send Lieutenant Wise a telegram daily, which is read to the President, all of which I presume you understand, which, with my absence and great pressure of business, has prevented my writing to you much of late.
In a great hurry, I am, respectfully and truly, yours,
A. H. FOOTE.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST, Numbers 108.
Pea Ridge, Ark., March 9, 1862.
I. Brigadier-General Sigel will forthwith move his entire command on the Bentonville road west of the field where Colonel Osterhaus met the enemy with our left wing, leaving a picket at his present camping ground. On arriving at that point further instructions will be imparted.
II. Brigadier-General Asboth, Colonel Schaefer, of the Second Missouri Volunteers, and Colonel Greusel, of the Thirty-sixth Illinois, will report in person at these headquarters.
By order of Brigadier-General Curtis:
T. I. MCKENNY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.