War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0654 MO., ARK.,KANS.,IND.T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

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Springfield, where my presence is needed. Blunt's forces are joining mine. I shall be ready to advance soon; I believe before the enemy will. This may be important in connection with the organization you refer to.



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, September 20, 1862.

Brigadier-General SCHOFIELD,

Saint Louis:

GENERAL: The substance of your letter of the 12th* was communicated to the Secretary of War, and the States of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas made into a separate department. General Curtis, as the ranking officer, is given the command. The was the only way of cutting the knot. The friends of Governor Morton, of Ex-Governor Dennison, of Cassius M. Clay, and of Colonel Blair were pulling all kinds of political wires to cut up the West into departments for the benefit of each. I was very much in hopes that some of the generals out there would gain some brilliant victory, so as to cut off these pretensions of outsiders. But unfortunately nothing of the kind has occurred, and the cry is, Why keep in men who accomplish nothing? The only answer I can give is, Why put in men who know nothing of military affairs? Under these circumstances I have been obliged to leave things as much as possible in statu quo. I have done everything in my power here to separate military appointments and commands form politics, but really the task is hopeless. The waste of money and demoralization of the Army by having incompetent and corrupt politicians in nearly all miliary offices, high and low, are working out terrible results. If is utterly disheartening? Oh, the curse of political expediency! It has almost ruined at Army, and if carried out will soon ruin the country. I have done and will continue to do all in my power to sustain the military officers against this political pressure; but unless we have some successes soon-I mean real and substantial successes-the ultra radicals will force us to yield.

A few words on affairs here. Pope's victories were all virtual defeats. The same may be said of those of McClellan before Richmond. His recent victories in Maryland are perhaps a little better, but utterly barren of results. The famous Army of the Potomac is demoralized and without discipline. Fifteen thousand stragglers have been picket up within the last few weeks and whole regiments could not be brought into action. You will ask the cause of this. I cannot answer. Probably several causes combined. You say it is mainly due to the abolition measures of the last Congress; others to the worthless character of the officers generally; others again to a want of confidence in the administration, &c. One think I think is certain; The rabid Abolitionists and Northern Democrats of secession proclivities have done all in their power to weaken and embarrass the administration and at the same time to discourage and demoralize the Army. We are now reaping the fruits of their accursed work.

Yours, truly,



*See p. 552.