War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0559 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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eral Butler to another field of duty. Whilst I have no difficulty with General Butler, finding him always clear in his conception of orders and prompt to obey, yet there is a want of knowledge how to execute and particularly a prejudice against him as a commander that operates against his usefulness. I have feared that it might become necessary to separate him and General Smith. The latter is really one of the most efficient officers in service, readiest in expedients and most skillful in the management of troops in action. I would dislike removing him from his present command unless it was to increase it, but, as I say, may have it to do yet if General Butler remains. As an administrative officer General Butler has no superior. In taking charge of a department where there are no great battles to be fought, but a dissatisfied element to control, no one could manage it better than he.

If a command could be cut out such as Mr. Dana proposed, namely, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, or if the Departments of the Missouri, Kansas, and the States of Illinois and Indiana, could be merged together and General Butler put over it, I believe the good of the service would be subserved. I regret the necessity of asking for a change in commanders here, but General Butler not being a soldier by education or experience, is in the hands of his subordinates in the execution of all operations military. I would feel strengthened with Smith, Franklin, or J. J. Reynolds commanding the right wing of this army. At the same time, as I have here stated, General Butler has always been prompt in his obedience to orders from me and clear in his understanding of them. I would not, therefore, be willing to recommend his retirement. I send this by mail for consideration, but will telegraph if I think it absolutely necessary to make a change.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



[JULY 1, 1864.-For Canby to Halleck, in reference to movement of Nineteenth Army Corps to Washington, see Vol. XLI, Part II.]

CITY POINT, July 1, 1864.

Major-General MEADE:

Please direct your provost-marshal to ascertain if the correspondent, Swinton, is within our lines, and, if so, to expel him.



[First indorsement.]


July 1, 1864-3 p.m.

Referred to Brigadier-General Patrick, who will report the execution of this order, and whether the within-referred to individual in within the lines of this army.


Major-General, Commanding.