The condition of affairs as represented by him to me is such that I feel compelled to insist upon the brigading of our troops in that State and placing them under command of brigadier-generals from this State. I am satisfied that unless this be done much bad feeling will arise between the troops from this State and the Missouri troops, and to such extent as materially to injure the public service. Our regiments scattered among Missouri troops are under control of Missouri officers. They are assigned to the most laborious and least desirable service; they have, in their opinion, less opportunity for distinction and less chance for a fair representation of what they may do. There is and has been much ill-felling on this subject; not only is this a subject-matter of complaint to me, but this further is alleged, and is, I have good reason to believe, true: The State troops in Missouri under whom officers and soldiers from this State are placed not only hold opinions, but act with reference to the vexed and ever-recurring contraband question directly in opposition to the convictions of our officers and men. This begets still more ill-feeling. Our troops are not willing, nor am I willing, if it can be avoided, that they shall be compelled to drive away from our lines and back into the hands of rebel masters slaves who are willing to render service to the country, and who, as they and I understand the laws of Congress, are free men. And yet this thing is done, unless I am misinformed, by Missouri troops and by command of Missouri officers. Iowa troops are compelled to do the same thing.
This cannot continue with advantage to the service in my judgment. Again, no troops in the service have done their duty better than our Iowa troops. No State has responded to the calls of the President more fully than Iowa. She has now not only her full quota under all the old calls in the field, but with invasion threatening her on the south from Missouri that the troops of Missouri fed and paid by the United States cannot keep quiet, and from the northwest by the Indians that the United States Government is bound to keep quiet, her quota of both the new calls for 300,000 men each are not only full, but running over; more than this, she is rapidly filling her old regiments, and has three new regiments in excess in process of organization. With all this she has one major-general and some for or five brigadiers. Cannot my request be granted, that our troops in Missouri be placed under command of Iowa brigadiers? Cannot this State have a few more brigadiers? If not, why not?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD.
The Iowa troops in Missouri are under the general command of Major-General Curtis, of Iowa, and any new troops arriving there will be brigaded by him. If the rule were adopted that the troops of a particular State are to be brigaded together and commanded by officers from that State it would utterly ruin the service. If Iowa is entitled to this, all others are equally so.
H. W. HALLECK,
SEPTEMBER 26, 1862.