War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0438 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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the country. For these reasons I earnestly request that the President will not require the order to take effect so far as I am concerned, but will consent immediately to relieve me.

J. C. FREMONT,

Major-General, U. S. Army.

WAR DEPARTMENT, June 27, 1862.

Major-General FREMONT, Middletown:

Your telegram requesting to be relieved from duty has been received and laid before the President, who directs me to say that, Congress having by special resolution vested him with authority to assign the chief command between officers of the same grade as he might consider best for the service of the country, without regard to priority of rank, he exercised that authority in respect to the Army of Virginia, as he has done in other instances, in the manner which, in his judgment was required for the service, and without design to detract from the "rank and consideration" of any general. General Pope was the junior in rank, but of the same grade not only of yourself but also of Generals Banks and McDowell, neither of whom have considered their rank and consideration in the service of the country as a condition upon which they would withdraw from that service.

The president regrets that any officer in the service should withdraw from the service of his country in any position where he is lawfully assigned by his commander-in-chief, but he cannot consistently with his sense of duty grant your request that an order made according to his judgment for the welfare of the nation should not be required "to take effect so far as you are concerned." The obligation of duty is the same upon all officers in the service, whatever their rank, and if there be any difference it should be most readily observed by those of highest rank. Your request, therefore, to be relieved from your present command is granted.

You will turn over your command and orders to the officer next highest in rank to yourself, and direct him to report to the Department for further orders.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, June 27, 1862.

Major General John C. Fremont having requested to be relieved from command of the First Army Corps of the Army of Virginia because, as he says, the position assigned him by the appointment of Major-General Pope as commander-in-chief of the Army of Virginia is subordinate and inferior to those heretofore held by him, and to remain in the subordinate command now assigned would, as he says, largely reduce his rank and consideration in the service:

It is ordered by the President that Major General John C. Fremont be relieved from command.

2nd. That Brigadier General Rufus King be, and he is hereby, assigned to the command of the First Army Corps of the Army of Virginia in place of General Fremont, relieved.

By order of the President:

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.