Colonel Miles's opinion was more than confirmed by events. Not only was the Commissary-General maintained in his position, but his influence with the administration appeared to increase, as did, most undoubtedly, his well-known and already proverbial inefficiency. Mr. Davis's book is replete with words of praise and commendation for him. Mr. Davis has not, even to this day, forgiven those who complained, not of the motives of Colonel Northrop—who was known to be a man of character and education—but of his fearful shortcomings, so detrimental to the good of the service. Mr. Davis says that it affords him the greatest pleasure to speak as he does of Colonel Northrop, ‘because those less informed of all he did, and skilfully tried to do, have been profuse of criticism, and sparing indeed of the meed justly his due.’1 In another part of his book he uses the following language: ‘To direct the production, preservation, collection, and distribution of food for the army, required a man of rare capacity and character at the head of the subsistence department. It was our good fortune to have such a one in Colonel L. B. Northrop, who was appointed Commissary-General at the organization of the bureaus of the executive department of the Confederate government.’2 These remarks of Mr. Davis are made in defiance of the opinion of the whole South, as entertained and openly expressed throughout the war. The disposition to defend a friend and to protect his
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