War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0884 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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NEW YORK, February 8, 1862.

Brigadier General J. W. RIPLEY,

Ordnance Bureau, Washington, D. C.:

DEAR SIR: We have now the satisfaction to report that we have this day shipped to Cairo four mortar beds, and will ship four each day until the entire number (thirty) are forwarded. We have redeemed the promise made by us at the outset, almost against hope, considering the delay in procuring some of the materials, but no effort has been spared, and as usual when people are in earnest the work has been accomplished.

Faithfully, yours,


FEBRUARY 9, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I learn on returning that Butler has still a third regiment in progress. What is expected me to do? We can have nothing but evil unless you peremptorily break this up.


WAR DEPARTMENT, February 9, 1862.

Governor A. G. CURTIN:

General McClellan desires that the Pennsylvania troops should remain as they are for a short time, until movements now being made in other States shall enable them to be placed in proper position. I hope this will be satisfactory to you, and would be glad to confer personally with you as son as convenient after next Tuesday.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., February 10, 1862.

Honorable B. F. WADE,

Chairman Committee upon the Conduct of the War, Senate:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st ultimo, inquiring "whether there is such an officer as Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the United States, or any grade above that of major-general? If so, by what authority is it created? Does it exist by virtue of any law of Congress or any usage of the Government?"

Your inquiry has been referred to the Adjutant-General, who reports as follows:

Not only is there no grade in our Army "above that of major- general," but there is no other "commander-in-chief of the Army of the United States" than the President.

Before the passage of the act of July 22, 1861, there was but one major-general, who was, in fact, under the President, the actual commander-in-chief of the whole Army of the United States. He was in consequence frequently addressed by that or some similar style, such as "commanding the Army," "general-in-chief," &c., by way of distinguishing him from other generals, and the same is still the case as regards Major-General McClellan; but in the Official Army Register he appears under no other name than that of major-general, nor does he draw any other pay.

Since the act of March 3, 1799, now repealed, no legislative action on the subject, now remembered, was ever taken. Section 9 of that act was in the following terms: "And be it further enacted, that a commander of the Army of the United States