War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0826 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

manded by me senior in rank, should have caused jealously and heartburning even in the Army of Virginia, and when to that was added the bitter vindictiveness of the Potomac Army officers, it will be agreed that my position was a hard one. That I did my best, and really succeeded beyond any reasonable expectation, under the circumstances, I think you will admit. This is all I wish made public under the sanction of your authority. I hope and believe you will do it.

My position here is not pleasant. The creation of a department in this region has inflamed the cupidity of every unscrupulous speculator and trader in this whole country, and every means will be used to get some man of themselves appointed to command, it who will minister to their operations. Rice, a reckless and ruined speculator and old Indian trader, ia a representative of this band of Malays, and will no doubt again be urged. His appointment will be based upon a knowledge of Indians and Indian character, acquired during many years of unlimited concubinage with Indian women. Should he be successful, many years of border war or ruinous Indian treaties and frauds will follow. Politically he is ruined,and he looks to this position to restore his broken political and material fortunes. Sibley has lived here longer than Rice, has quite as much, if not more, familiarity with Indians, and is, besides, a high-toned man, who has the respect of everybody, as he has conducted a successful campaign against the Indians, and endured all the hardships and exposures of such service. The Appointment of Rice, who had done nothing, will be a great and unmerited humiliation to him.

I think, perhaps, that the creation of a military department in this region was unfortunate. A brigade or so is enough here, and I suggest that it be a military district and, with Dakota, be placed under command of the department commander in Saint Louis. Everything that can be desired will be thus accomplished and the Government relieved from incessant annoyance.

As soon as the condemned Indians are disposed of this arrangement can readily be made, and Sibley is undoubtedly the best man to leave here in command. He will have plenty of troops for the spring campaign, which should be made. I have already made Dakota a separate military district, and sent an officer to Sioux City, ont eh Missouri, to command it. My future command or place I leave to yourself without uneasiness, feeling assured that you will do me justice, and that I can rely upon the friendly feeling you have always entertained and manifested.

Very truly, yours,



WASHINGTON, December 3, 1862.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

GENERAL: With your report published this morning in the Chronicle newspaper is a dispatch of mine, containing the following paragraph:

Bank's corps is very weak, numbering not more than 5,000 men, and is much demoralized.

This paragraph might seem to imply some reproach upon that gallant corps, but such would be very far from my intention and very unjust. That corps, under its gallant leader, had fought the bloody battle of Cedar Mountain, and had there rendered service which merits the