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[447] action of a true friend, and the correspondence which had passed between General Sherman and me, sufficed to prevent the consummation of the wrong which had been contemplated.

After the presidential election was over, and partizan passion had subsided, I made a formal application, November 12, 1880, to be relieved from duty at West Point on or before the first of May following, and to be permitted to await orders until an appropriate command became vacant. I repeatedly expressed my desire that none of my brother officers should be disturbed in their commands on my account, and that no new command should be created for me. I was entirely content to await the ordinary course of events, in view of pending legislation relative to retirements for age, and of retirements which might be made under the laws then existing.

My relief from West Point was effected earlier than General Sherman or I had anticipated. Before the end of 1880 the following correspondence passed between me and the general of the army:


headquarters, army of the United States, Washington, D. C., December 13, 1880.
General J. M. Schofield, West Point, New York.
dear General: General Drum has just shown me the memorandum for orders. The President has worked out this scheme himself, without asking my help, and I am glad of it, for I would not like to burden my conscience with such a bungle.

He creates a new department out of Louisiana, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory, to be commanded by the senior officer present. . . .

You are to command the Department of Texas and this new department, called a division, of what name I don't know.

Howard is to replace you at West Point. I suppose the order will issue at once.

Yours truly,

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