for retaining him in command, "the feelings of many officers of the Potomac Army," is the very strongest reason, in my view, why he should not be retained. If officers' feelings are to regulate the selection of commanders for the Potomac, Army it is very clear that army is governed by very different rules and regulations from the Army of the West. It the Potomac Army is entitled to this privilege of selection, surely the Western Army is equally so, and you may rest assured that they will not be long in demanding it. The result of this state of things need not be elaborated.
You say that I "complain" that McClellan was placed in command of the army in Maryland. I think the expression misplaced. I said that facts in your possession did not "justify" it. He is under grave charges of neglect and abandonment of the army of Virginia. He should never have been placed in command of anything under such circumstances. You know that he failed to do his duty, and I am glad that you deny having had anything to do with his assignment to that command.
You mistake also when you say that I asked you to put me in command of the reunited Western Department. I said, and say now, that one of three things I was entitled to; anyone of them would have satisfied me. The distastes of the commonest justice gave me the right to expect one of them at least:
1st. That the court of inquiry be at once held and the blame be fixed where it belonged. It is now too late for that, as the delay has already made the worst impression against me that is possible.
2nd. That the Government should acknowledge publicly, as it had done privately, my services in Virginia; or
3rd. That in case neither of these things could be done, then that the Government bestow upon me some mark of public confidence as its opinion of my ability warranted.
None of these things have been done, and the part thus played by the Government against me has done me more injury than all else. It has stamped with truth statements which would otherwise never have been credit. I have been most unjustly and unfairly treated.
I cannot think of it without indignation. I wrote to you because I believe you have not considered my position. I have not myself doubted your friendliness. You know me well enough, I think, to understand that I will never submit if I can help it. The court of inquiry which you inform me has been ordered will amount to nothing for several reasons. It is too late, so far as I am concerned. Its proceedings, I presume, will be secret, as in the Harper's Ferry business. The principal witnesses are here with me and I myself should be present. The Mississippi River closes by the 25th November; frequently sooner than that. it is then next to impossible to get away from this place. A journey through the snow of 200 miles is required to communicate with any railroad. All these things make it plain to me that the court of which you speak will amount to nothing.
Under any circumstances it is too late, so far as I am concerned. The letters which I have addressed you are personal, and not official. They are written in direct view of my personal relations with you. They therefore deal almost wholly with personal matters or with the personal bearings of official questions. I could assign, as I shall in good time, the very strongest official reasons for every personal suggestion I have made.
I wrote to you because I desire you to understand fully my feelings and the course of action I shall pursue. I had hoped that you would