serve, but subject to the orders of any bureau officer who happened to be the senior in Washington
in hot summer weather, when nearly all had gone to the mountains or the sea!
That same great lawyer announced in my hearing, very soon after his accession to power, in response to a suggestion that war service was entitled to weight in appointments and promotions, that in his judgment ‘that book was closed.’
Could any one of the million of soldiers still living, and the many more millions of patriots who are always alive in our country, be expected to support such a policy as that?
In my opinion, that one short speech cost the national administration more than a million of votes.
Soldiers don't say much through the press, but they quietly talk things over around their campfires.
And I hope many generations will pass away before they and their sons will cease thus to keep alive the fires of patriotism kindled by the great struggle for American Union.
Thank God, that ‘law’ did not last many years.
There was great rejoicing throughout the little army when it was again recognized as belonging to the Department of War.
But that cause of rejoicing was soon beclouded.
By another of those inscrutable dispensations of Providence
, another superior, under the title of Assistant Secretary of War
, was interposed between the commander-in-chief
of the army and the general appointed to assist him in the command.
It had been thought, and so stated in writing, that the major-general
commanding, and the ten heads of staff departments and bureaus, with their many assistants, all educated men of long experience in the several departments of military affairs, and some of them tried in war, might give the Secretary
all the assistance he needed, if they were permitted to do it. But no; it appears to have been thought that some other, who had had no education or experience in the affairs of the War