readily understand the extraordinary nature of Lieutenant-Colonel Grier's conduct. The good sense and discretion of the mustering officers in Wisconsin and Minnesota have saved us from difficulties in either of those States.
This is not the first occasion on which difficulty has been made by Colonel Grier and disrespect shown to the department authority. I have the honor to request that he be relieved from duty in Iowa, and that Lieutenant Colonel William Chapman, Third U. S. Infantry, now at Green Bay, in this State, be sent to replace him.
Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman has lately been retired from active service, but is an excellent officer and well qualified for such duty. I have several times asked the action of the General-in- Chief on this subject, but the matter seems to be more directly in charge of officers in the War Department.
In view of the facts existing in this department and herein stated, I have the honor respectfully to suggest to you for the benefit of the public service, and to enable the commander of this department to use troops in process of organization for duties heretofore stated in this letter, without recalling troops from the field, or keeping organized regiments out of the field, that general authority be given the department commander over mustering and disbursing officers within his department, which, without authorizing him to interfere with the special duties of those officers, will yet enable him so far to control them as to prevent the occurrence of transactions not creditable to military discipline or subordination.
I ask particularly the replacement of Lieutenant-Colonel Grier by some other officer, as I think there can be no sufficient reason why an officer whose relations with the commander of the department are so unpleasant should be retained here.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., November 11, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 31st ultimo, inclosing copy of indorsement of Colonel Fry on my letter to you of October 6. I am gratified to notice that on the main point in my letter there is no difference of opinion between Colonel Fry and myself. Any seeming disagreement arises merely from his construction of "verbal" points of my letter. All that was desired to be secured by my order (36) was simply a written statement of the crime charged.
In the case of a deserter, his descriptive list as set forth by Colonel Fry is all that is needed or demanded by Order 36.
It was never intended, nor has it been nor will it be permitted to be construed to mean, that any proof of the facts is required by that order. With such a statement as Colonel Fry specifies there has been no case in which commanders of any military force in this department have refused to receive prisoners from the provost-marshal, nor will such a refusal be permitted. No officer in the department has ever required nor expected more than Colonel Fry states