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[448]

my dear General: I have received your confidential letter of yesterday, informing me of the bungling scheme which has been worked out without your help. I presume it would be fruitless to attempt any opposition to the species of mania which manifests itself in such action. It may be best to let it run its course during the short time which must yet elapse until a reign of reason is again inaugurated with the incoming administration. But it occurs to me that you may be able to save the useless expense to the government and the great inconvenience and expense to staff officers which would necessarily result from the organization of a division which could only last for a few months. To me personally it is a matter of little moment; but not so with the staff officers and the military appropriations. I am not willing to have such a thing done, even apparently, on my account. Please advise what official action, if any, should be taken by me in this matter. Personally I am perfectly ready to obey the President's order, without a word of protest; but I am not willing to be the occasion of manifest injury to the public service, and of useless inconvenience and expense to the officers of the general staff who must be assigned to the headquarters of the new division.

Very truly yours,


But the public interests, and my desire to make my own entirely subservient thereto, were alike disregarded. A new division was carved out of the three old ones, in violation of the plainest dictates of military principles. The government was subjected to a worse than useless expense of many thousands of dollars, and a number of staff officers to like useless expense and trouble. For all this there was no other apparent motive but to make it appear that there were appropriate commands for all the major-generals then in active service, and hence no reason for placing any one of them on the retired list. As a part of that scheme, one of the most active brigadier-generals, younger than one of the major-generals, was selected instead

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December 14th, 1880 AD (1)
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