War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0844 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

proper military channels, that it may not fail in delivery, many important communications having failed to reach department headquarters as far as I have been able to learn. I must concede the authority of the general commanding to arrange districts in accordance with his own views, as also hi influence in procuring dismissals from the service, but I must rather submit to the probabilities of the latter than to the disgrace which is necessarily implied in paragraph 1, of General Orders, Numbers 32.

C. R. JENNISON,

Colonel, Commanding First Sub-District of South Kansas.

[Inclosure Numbers 3.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTH KANSAS,

Paola, Kans., December 11, 1864.

Colonel C. R. JENNISON,

Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry:

SIR: I am just in receipt of your telegram of this date, in which you take exceptions to General Orders, Numbers 32, from these headquarters, and submit your refusal to obey it by declining the command of the First Sub-District. The tenor of this telegram is such that only one course is left for me to pursue, viz, to place you in arrest for disobedience of orders and insubordination of the most marked character;; and while I am compelled to perform this unpleasant duty I will depart from usual custom and reply to your communication. Your remarks about politicians, James H. Lane, political shysters, &c., although evincing gross insubordination and disrespect for superior officers in their official capacity, I shall pass over, as I am not sufficiently advised of the political combinations you have made and attempted to make with James H. Lane and others to discuss the matter, nor have I any disposition to discuss it, as it is not in my line of duty. It is certainly a great virtue in any military man while on duty with his command to eschew partisan politics, and if you have maintained that virtue so far as to hold yourself entirely aloof from local or partisan politics while you have been in the military service, as your telegram would seem to claim for you, it will be a matter of history connected with your career that will be very much to your credit as a soldier. In subdividing my district I did it with a view to convenience in police regulations, and as, in my judgment, would subserve the interests of the service, without consulting the wishes or personal feelings of yourself or other officers of my command. But in doing this I have endeavored to do justice to all according to their merit, and all of the sub-district commanders mentioned in General Orders, Numbers 32, having served more or less under my command, and often under my immediate personal supervision, I thought I was quite well prepared to judge of the qualifications of each to discharge the duties assigned him; and notwithstanding you may have letters, as you say you have, from Generals Curtis, Sykes, and Davies, complimenting you for soldierly qualities, I would suggest to you that when you attempt to disparage the merits of as worthy and gallant an officer as Colonel C. W. Blair you very much weaken your cause instead of benefiting it. That you have no more troops in the command assigned you is not only unfortunate for you, but equally so for me. I might with the same propriety claim that I had not the number of troops under my command that my rank entitles me to, yet they are all that has been assigned to me, and my duty as a soldier requires me to acquiesce.