with you, that I should be compelled even to ask at your hands the justice which it is your duty to assure to every officer of the army.
You do not suppose that I fancy that you "did the best you could for me." What you have done amounts to little else than degradation, which you know to be most unmerited. Of course you could not believe (if you thought of it at all) that I was likely to be satisfied with such an arrangement. You could easily have united the Western Department again and have given me the command. I need not tell you that such an assignment would have been very acceptable to the West, and would at once have freed me from the odium and abuse which have so shamefully and unjustly been heaped upon me by the papers and people in the influence of the influence of the unscrupulous military clique which have made honor and duty a by-word and reproach.
Your own experience tells you that the operations in the West, by which, without fighting a battle, we have lost all we gained by such sacrifice of life and treasure, are directly due to the separation of the Western Department into half a dozen independent commands. This is the command you should have given me, after the harm you suffered to befall me by postponing the court of inquiry and by maintaining a silence which has been construed into unbelief of the charges I had preferred. You still have it in your power to do so. I tell you frankly that by the time Congress meets such influences as cannot be resisted will be brought to bear on this subject. I have still a strong friendship for you, from which I have not been able to free myself. I prefer greatly that you should do me this justice fo your own accord. I need not remind you that when you arrived in Washington I earnestly urged you, as I had before urged the President, to allow me to return to the West. I told you, as I had already told him, that McClellan could not be depended on to co-operate with me, and that I was sure he would fail me. You insisted upon my remaining, against my repeated requests and my firm conviction that the army under my command wold be sacrificed by the very mend for whose relapse from James River it was about to encounter such risk and undergo such hardship.
Although the result proved to be what I had predicted to you, and although you knew I had fought desperately and to the last to prevent the consequences I had foreseen, I found myself banished to the frontier, and the very men against whom I warned you, and who brought about these disasters, are rewarded by according to them the very objects they sought to attain by deliberate and shameful betrayal of trust.
Of another thing I desire to warn you had best give heed to it. The pretorian faction in the Army of the Potomac is now seeking to remove every officer of distinction from that army who is not in their interests. Hooker, by his rising reputation and known hostility to them and their purposes, is becoming dangerous. He will be gotten rid of in some way. As it cannot now be done by detraction and slander, they will seek by affected commendation and applause to remove him to some other command. Do not allow such transparent intrigue to induce you to consent that Hooker should be separated from that army. You will find him a true man and one of incalculable use to you with that army. If you allow him to be separated from it you will again be playing into the hands that seek your destruction. McClellan will inevitably be set aside. I know of nothing conceivable that can prevent if before many months go by. Hooker is the only man I know available to succeed him, and under all aspects should be kept there.
You are a man of the world, and you know well that McClellan will never forgive you for superseding him in their command of the Army.