so thin his ranks that by fall his army will be reduced one-half. Altogether our position is far from being an agreeable one. We ought to be up and doing. We want troops, and must have them. Measures ought to be adopted to apprehend and send back to their regiments the thousands of deserters scattered throughout the country. These with the men on furlough would make a respectable army.
It is said that the rebels would willingly exchange Richmond for Washington. Our generals have not shown much tact in acquiring information in regard to the movements of the rebel armies. The latter disappear from before them with all the material of war without knowing it for days, as was the case at Manassas, Yorktown, and Corinth. They have been too often assailed by large forces without the slightest knowledge of their approach, and of course disaster follows, as in the case of Generals Grant, Shields, and Banks. Our generals do not appear to understand the stratagems of war, and they leave their rear and depots of supplies unguarded, as in the case of McClellan's rear being attacked, when he lost much property, as also in the case when Jackson returned to Richmond. We find them too often surprised, as in the case of Fair Oaks and Grant near Corinth, and but for the timely arrival of gunboats the army of the latter would have been captured.
I do not mention these things because I desire the command of an army. Far from it. I assure you I am content to perform any duty you may think proper to assign to me. My only wish and desire is to put down this infamous rebellion, and to have the instigators punished as they deserve to be. Whoever may accomplish this, and whether it be McClellan, Halleck, Pope, or any one else, I will be at least one of the first to rejoice and to do honor to the conqueror.
In conclusion,allow me to call your attention to the bounty about to be paid to those who may enlist in the service. I believe it will amount to something like $90 to each man, including $50 by the States. New York gives $50 in addition to what the United States gives. In drawing up your instructions for myself, I hope you will allow the $50 to be given by New York.
Always and faithfully, yours,
JOHN E. WOOL,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH CORPS,
Harrison's Bar, July 21, 1862.
Brigadier General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army:
MY DEAR GENERAL: In times of crises I always think of corresponding with you. I do not know the amount of your influence at this time, but whether you possess much or little, you ought now to exert all you possess to guard the state from the dangers that threaten it.
You and I agreed in March and April, 1861, that it was proper to make war vigorously. We agreed after the battle of Bull Run that the capital and the North were in danger, and I doubt not you will agree with me that both are in far greater danger now than at that time. The South has been made a unit by the mere continuance of the war,and their antipathies have been increased by our legislation, while the North has been made weak by divided counsels and an ignorance on the part of most persons of the cause of the war.
This army has lost golden opportunities. If I could see you I would