War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0844 Chapter LXIII. MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA.

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CHARLESTON, S. C., March 31, 1864.

General G. W. SMITH,

Superintendent, President, &c., Etowah, Ga.:

MY DEAR SIR: I send you above a letter written yesterday in answer to one from Wigfall.* The copy of the paper called for, which you had given me, is not now ant hand, hence I referred him to you; but, on reflection, should ge ask for one, I would advise you to send him a statement of your own corresponding to mine, telling him that if its truth be denied you will then furnish a true copy of the original paper. In other words, let D. commit himself first, and then fasten on him the lie.

Hoping you are well, I remain, yours, truly,



RICHMOND, VA., March 31, 1864.

His Excellency Z. B. VANCE:

GOVERNOR: It has been necessary to call for information from the Secretary of War before answering your letter of the 9th instant received on the 19th. In reply to my invitation to specify even one case in which officers of your State have been "excluded from promotion which had bee purchased with their blood, because they had been anti-secessionists," you name three cases, Colonel McRae, Colonel Garrett, and Colonel McElroy. Not knowing the political antecedents of these gentlemen, I assume that you state correctly that they were anti-secessionists, and reply briefly to each case. From the copies of papers on file in the War Department, which have been furnished by my direction, and are inclosed herewith, + it appears that in the first instance, that of Colonel McRae, his name, that of Colonel Iverson, and those of three other colonels were presented with recommendations for promotion by General D. H. Hill, a North Carolinian, who commanded the division, and that the recommendation closed with this emphatic statement: "Colonel Iverson is in my opinion the best qualified by education, courage, and character of any colonel in the service for the appointment of brigadier-general." It further appears that the lamented General T. J. Jackson, in forwarding the recommendations of the five colonels with his approval, indorsed on it there request "that Colonel Iversn be the first promotion," and the recommendation thus indorsed was sent to me by General Robert E. Lee, with a recommendation for its "favorable consideration." With reference to your remark that Colenel Iverson was "a junior officer from another State," I have simply to say that it was not I who placed this gallant son of Georgia in command of North Carolina troops, but that a regiment of your State adopted him, elected him hor its colonel, and was commanded by him on many bloody fields. I did not consider myself at liberty to set aside this North Carolina colonel because of his nativity in a sister State, when I had every reason nto believe that he was recognized with pride by North Carolina generals and soldiers who had withnessed his bearing in battle. In the second instance, that of Colonel Garrett, no recommendation for his promotion is found on file in the War Office. The gentleman who was promoted to command the brigade, although styled by you lieutenant-colonel, was by right the colonel of the Twenty-third North Carolina, in consequence of the death of Colonel Christie. The papers show that his division commander, Major-


* See next, ante.


+ See list at end of letter, p. 846.