General Sullivan A. Meredith
, of Philadelphia
, followed Colonel Ludlow
as Federal agent of exchange
At my first interview with him I strongly suspected that he had been sent to break off exchanges, instead of furthering them.
I was convinced of it afterward.
He abounded in all the qualities which would make him useful on just such a service.
He was coarse, rude, arrogant, and so unacquainted with the matters committed to his charge, that it was difficult to transact any business with him.
, whom I never saw during the war, had his headquarters at Washington
He styled himself “Commissioner
for the Exchange
What his precise function was I never was able to learn; for while he was Commissioner
, there was always a Federal Agent of Exchange
How far the authority of each extended, or how far one was subordinate to the other, or how far one could refuse what the other allowed, or deny what the other said, never clearly appeared.
I suppose that both could be put to valuable uses, “each after his kind.”
As far as I could gather, Hitchcock
seems to have been a sort of Tycoon of exchanges, solemnly sitting in Washington
to superintend matters about which he knew little or nothing, if his report is to be believed.
He never condescended to write to me, though I did more than once to him, not having any special fear of his august sacredness.
One of these letters, which he ought to have answered, and for his failure so to do, he deserves to be impaled upon the wrath of mankind, I will give.
Oh! what weltering woe and wretchedness it would have saved.
It gives me no pleasure to write these things; nor do I seek to bring myself unduly forward in this matter.
I wish the cup could pass from me. But the official position I occupied during the war