probable peculation, I applied to the Quartermaster-General to detail an honest and experienced officer of the Department to inspect. His reply was that he had not such an officer available, but for me to select one and order him on that duty. I, under this authority, detailed Captain J. H. Stokes, of the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, for that duty. The result has been already to find that the Government is being constantly defrauded by whose duty it is to protect and guard the public interest. The guilty parties will be relieved and brought to trial.
Captain Stokes s an old officer of the regular army and also of the Quartermaster's Department. He is eminently fitted for this duty, though a very disagreeable one for him, and particularly so whilst occupying the grade of captain of artillery.
General thomas informed me soon after my assumption of command of this military division that he regarded Captain Stokes as one of his most efficient officers, and that he had recommended him for the position of brigadier-general. I now would most heartily indorse that recommendation, and if it cannot be granted would ask that he be appointed quartermaster of volunteers, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. I have no such staff officer and believe the law authorizes it.
I do not require a staff officer of the Quartermaster's Department for any other duty than that suggested by this letter. For the active duties within my command I have General Allen, Colonels Myers and Donaldson, men eminently capable and far above suspicion. Indeed, I would prefer Captain Stokes, with rank to enable him to perform the duties assigned him, should report directly to General Allen instead of me.
U. S. GRANT,
CHATTANOOGA, February 6, 1864.
I am about to start for Knoxville. Have been detained here to days for a boat.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
February 6, 1864.
Brigadier General J. D. COX,
Commanding Twenty-third Army Corps:
GENERAL: I suspect the rebel movement is only a reconnaissance. A deserter who came in to-day, and who left the cavalry near Sevierville, made no mention of any advance. There is no infantry on the south side of the French Broad.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWARD E. POTTER,
Chief of Staff.
P. S.-I will show Colonel Cameron's dispatch to General Foster, and will send you word at once if any change is to be made in present dispositions.
E. E. P.