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I was unable then, as now, to imagine any military object for which this letter could have been written, especially by one whose time was supposed to be devoted to the most important concerns of government. The President could not have thought that I was to be taught the moral and material condition of the army around me by him, from the observations of his aide-de-camp, who had never seen military service, instead of learning them by my own. Nor could he have believed that the army
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