[Indorsements on Gibbon to Williams, November 26, 1864, printed in Volume XLII, Part III, p. 714.]
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
November 27, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to headquarters Armies of the United States. The assignment of Major-General Humphreys to the command of the Second Corps was made in pursuance of the instructions of the lieutenant-general commanding, and the assignment was necessarily announced in the order as temporary, a permanent assignment requiring the sanction of the President. It is understood that General Gibbon would have made no objection to serving under General Humphhreys as the permanent commander of the corps, but thinks that pending such permanent assignment the command of the corps should have been devolved on him. I do not consider that General Gibbon has any just cause to complain of the phraseology of the order assigning General Humphreys to the command of the Second Corps, especially as it is believed it was well known in the corps that General Hancock was not to return to this army. As, however, he asks to be relieved from further service here, I have no objection to offer to the granting of his application.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, Va., November 30, 1864.
In the assignment of Major General A. A. Humphreys to the command of the Second Corps no reflection upon or disrespect to Major-General Gibbon was intended. General Humphreys has long desired the command of troops and it has been promised him. When General Hancock left it was understood that he was permanently relived and separated from the corps, and General Humphreys, being the oldest major-general in the Army of the Potomac, was placed in command of it. The wording of the order of assignment might have been made less objectionable. There was, however, no intention of in any way reflecting upon General Gibbon, and it was expected that the temporary assignment would be made permanent by the President. It is hoped that General Gibbon will accept this explanation as satisfactory. I have full confidence in General Gibbon as a commander of troops, and believe him entirely capable of commanding a corps. I should not like to spare his services from this army; but if after this explanation he continues dissatisfied he will, on his application, be relieved.
U. S. GRANT,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF VA. AND N. CAROLINA,
ARMY OF THE JAMES, Numbers 375.
In the Field, November 26, 1864.
1. In obedience to orders from the lieutenant-general commanding the Armies of the United States, contained in Special Orders, Numbers 136,