against whom I never knew anything to be alleged, had general charge of this system. A controversy in regard to it rapidly grew into almost unmanageable proportions. One side ignored the necessity and magnified the evils of the system, while the other ignored the evils and magnified the necessity, and each bitterly assailed the motives of the other. I could not fail to see that the controversy enlarged in the same proportion as the professed Union men there distinctly took sides in the opposing political parties. I exhausted my wits, and very nearly my patience also, in efforts to convince both that the evils they charged on each other were inherent in the case, and could not be cured by giving either party a victory over the other.
Plainly the initiatory system was not to be perpetual, and it was plausibly urged that it could be modified at once with advantage. The case could hardly be worse, and whether it could be made better could only be determined by a trial. In this view, and not to ban or brand General Curtis, or to give a victory to any party, I made the change of commander for the department.
I now learn that soon after this change Mr. Dick was removed, and that Mr. Broadhead, a gentleman of no less good character, was put in the place. The mere fact of this change is more distinctly complained of than is any conduct of the new officer or other consequence of the change. I gave the new commander his instructions as to the administration of the system mentioned, beyond what is contained in the private letter, afterward surreptitiously published in which I directed him to act solely for the public good and independently of both parties . Neither anything you have presented me nor anything I have otherwise learned has convinced me that he has been unfaithful to this charge.
Imbecility is urged as one cause of removing General Schofield, and the late massacre at Lawrence, Kans., is preferred as evidence of that imbecility. To my mind that fact scarcely tends to prove the proposition. That massacre is only an example of what Grierson, John [H.] Morgan, and many others might have repeatedly done in their respective raids, had they chosen to incur the personal hazard and possessed the fiendish hearts to do it.
The charge is made that General Schofield, on purpose to protect the Lawrence murderers, would not allow them to be pursued in Missouri. While no punishment could be too sudden or too severe for those murderers. I am well satisfied that the preventing of the threatened remedied raid into Missouri was the only safe way to avoid all indiscriminate massacre thus including probably more innocent than guilty. Instead of condemning, I therefore approve what I understand General Schofield did in that latter respect.
The charges that General Schofield has purposely with held protection from loyal people, and purposely facilitated the objects
of the disloyal are altogether beyond my power of belief. I do not arraign the veracity of gentlemen as to the facts complained of, but I do more than question the judgment which would infer that those facts occurred in accordance with the purposes of General Schofield.
With my present views, I must decline to remove General Schofield. In this I decide nothing against General Butler. I sincerely wish it was convenient to assign him a suitable command. In order to meet some existing evils, I have addressed a letter of instructions to General Schofield, a copy of which I inclose to you.*
As to the Enrolled Militia, I shall endeavor to ascertain better than I now know what is its exact value. Let me say now, however, that
*See p. 585