HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., May 24, 1863
In compliance with orders from the War Department, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Department of the Missouri.
The following staffs officers are announced, viz: Lieutenant Colonel A. V. Colburn, assistant adjutant-general in charge of office; Lieutenant Colonel C. W. Marsh, assistant adjutant-general Missouri State Militia, Major William M. Wherry, aide-de-camp, and Major A. H. Engle, aide-de-camp.
With the above exceptions, the staff of the department will remain unchanged until further orders.
J. M. SCHOFIELD.
ROLLA, MO., May 25, 1863
The balance of your command, including cavalry, artillery, and some infantry, left here on Saturday morning for Pilot Knob, by way of Salem. Have you anything new? Can you not come up here before returning to the Knob?
F. J. HERRON,
Washington, May 27, 1863.
General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:
MY DEAR SIR: Having relieved General Curtis and assigned you to the command of the Department of the Missouri, I think it may be of some advantage for me to state to you why I did it. I did not relieve General Curtis because of any full conviction that he had done wrong by commission or omission. I did it because of a conviction in my mind that the Union men of Missouri, constituting when united, a vast majority of the whole people, have entered into a pestilent factional quarrel among themselves, General Curtis, perhaps not of choice, being the head of one faction, and Governor Gamble that of the other. After months of labor to reconcile the difficulty it seemed to grow worse and worse, until I felt it my duty to break it up somehow, and, as I could not remove Governor Gamble, I had to remove General Curtis.
Now that you are in the position, I wish you to undo nothing merely because General Curtis or Governor Gamble did it, but to exercise your own judgment, and do right for the public interest. Let your military measures be strong enough to repel the invader and keep the peace, and not so strong as to unnecessarily harass and persecute the people. It is a difficult role, and so much greater will be the honor if you perform it well. If both factions, or neither, shall abuse you, you will, probably, be about right. Beware of being assailed by one and praised by the other.