Had it been offered to him he would have accepted it with alacrity, for he was ready to serve his country in any capacity, and had no undue opinion of his own abilities.
It is fortunate for the country that McClellan
did not offer him a staff appointment, for he would then have been in a subordinate position, where his characteristics and ability as an officer could not have been displayed; and had he remained in that position he would have suffered from the mistakes and policy of that general, and circumstances would thus have changed his whole military career.
was probably disappointed, though he never expressed any such feeling; but his disappointment was the country's greatest gain.
Returning to Spring-field, he was very soon commissioned as colonel of the Twenty-first Regiment of Illinois volunteers, and with that regiment, early in June, he marched to Northern Missouri
, and joined the forces of General Pope
, who was engaged in putting down the guerrilla bands that infested that portion of the state.
Ordered successively to different positions in this part of the country, he was faithfully discharging the arduous and not very agreeable duties of this kind of a campaign, when he was informed by the newspapers that he had been appointed a brigadier general.
He received this appointment at the suggestion of Hon. E. B. Washburne
, member of Congress from the Galena
district; and it was all the more honorable to both parties, inasmuch as Mr. Washburne
was but very slightly acquainted with Grant
, and had nominated him, not from personal friendship, but because of the solid qualities which he was known to possess, his military education, and his good record in