division consists of three brigades, under the command of Brigadier-General Moore and Majors Cabell and Phifer, the last two having been assigned by General Van Dorn months ago to the command of their respective brigades as acting brigadier-generals. Colonel Armstrong, who is an acting brigadier-general by appointment of General Bragg, commands the cavalry brigade, which consists of five regiments and three battalions. I do not think it will be advisable to lessen the number of these brigades, especially in view of the fact that General Bragg has informed me of his purpose to strengthen my army by ordering to it several thousand of the exchanged troops.
You will perceive from this statement that the two divisions are each commanded by brigadier-generals, while five of the eight brigades are commanded by colonels and majors. This anomalous condition of things not only deprives regiments of their proper commanders and brigades of their appropriate staff officers, but gives rise to rivalry and jealousy, which are extremely prejudicial to the harmony and discipline of the army, and which would not otherwise exist. The existence of these within this army has been brought to my knowledge for the first time since the decision of the department in the cases of Majors Cabell and Phifer has been made known. That decision disclosed the fact that there were five vacant brigadierships in this army, and the knowledge of that fact has given rise to efforts which are tending to disturb the good feeling which has hitherto characterized it. I hope that it may be your pleasure to put a summary end to all this by assigning brigadier- generals to the command of the several brigades. I do not feel that I ought, nor do I desire, to express any opinion as to the filing of these vacancies, though I will do so if such is your wish or the will of the President.
I may, however, be permitted to say that I hope that Generals Little and Maury will not be superseded in the command of their respective divisions, except by officers of acknowledged ability, and I very respectfully submit to you the impolicy of placing either of them under the command of any officer who was their junior in the United States Army, unless he has particularly distinguished himself. I may also express the wish that General Little be appointed major-general. He happened to be in Missouri when the war broke out. He at once resigned his position in the United States Army and tendered his services to me. I placed him upon my staff as assistant adjutant-general, in which capacity he continued to serve until I began, some nine months ago, to organize a brigade of Missouri troops for the Confederate service. I assigned him to the command of these. He organized, drilled, and disciplined them, and has remained in command of them ever since. They constitute the First Brigade of his division, and are as well disciplined and as efficient as any troops in the Confederate service. General Little commanded this brigade during my retreat from Springfield and at the battle of Elkhorn, and on both occasions displayed distinguished coolness, courage, and skill, and military ability of a very high character, thus demonstrating his ability not only as an organizer and disciplinarian but as a commander upon the field. His officers and men place the greatest confidence in him, and every one from Missouri has appeared willing to yield precedence to him, though he is not and has never been a resident of that State. I cannot commend him too highly nor urge the President too strongly to appoint him major-general. I would regret very much to see him superseded by any less distinguished officer, particularly if he be totally unknown to the troops.
Brigadier-General Maury, who commands the other division, has been