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[295] heavy artillery in command of the whole, with orders to make every effort to report to General Brown, at the St. Nicholas Hotel. As the horses were unused to that kind of pulling, I was in great doubt about the guns ever reaching New York; but my concern on that score was greatly modified by the reflection that none of the men accompanying them knew anything respecting their use. My doubts as to the horses turned out to be groundless, though those respecting the men were fully realized.

About eight in the evening two steamboats reported to me at Fort Hamilton. On one of these I placed a company of volunteer artillery to replace at Sandy Hook Captain Putnam's company of the Twelfth Infantry, which latter I ordered to return on the same boat to New York. On the other boat I proceeded myself with the “Permanent guard,” and the remainder of the troops already referred to from Forts Lafayette and Richmond, numbering in all about one hundred and forty soldiers. Landing at the foot of Spring street I marched, in a heavy shower, up to the St. Nicholas Hotel, where I was ushered into General Wool's office, in one of the parlors. The apartment was crowded with officers and civilians. Among the latter I recognized several of the most prominent merchants of New York engaged in earnest discussion with General Brown. Approaching Major Christensen, General Wool's adjutant general, I inquired what had been going on in the city that day, for as yet I was ignorant of the details. Major Christensen's reply was characteristic. “Good God! McElrath, this is the one spot in New York where the least is known of what is taking place!” The course of events showed that the refreshing ignorance admitted by Major Christensen prevailed at General Wool's headquarters without interruption through the riots, despite the intelligent staff with which he was surrounded. Reporting my arrival to General Brown, I was informed that having declined to serve under General Sanford when ordered to do so by General Wool, he had, at his own request, been relieved from duty. I replied that I should like then to be relieved also, but he requested me to report to General Wool, which I did. A more arbitrary piece of absurdity has seldom been recorded in military annals than this attempt to place, at a critical juncture, a veteran of nearly fifty years service in the regular army in a position subordinate to an. unpracticed militia officer, simply because the latter held higher rank by State commission. General Wool, however, was firm in spite of the earnest remonstrances of the gentlemen present, and General Brown was equally determined. Happily for the welfare of New York city, the matter was compromised during the night by the interposition

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