been working with remarkable success for several weeks, he saw a fixed purpose to thwart not only his own views, but more particularly those of General Johnston
, whose relations with Richmond
were already growing to be of a delicate and uneasy character.
He therefore expressed his dissatisfaction to the Secretary of War
, and went so far as to say, that if he was to understand, by such a letter, that he was no longer in command of an army corps, he requested to be relieved at once from his false position; otherwise, he desired the services of a Chief of Ordnance
He urged that the more imperfect the elements of an army in the field, the greater should be its subdivisions under competent officers, in order that commanders might spare, for their most important duties, the time and attention unprofitably lost in devotion to minor details; and that Mr. Ferguson
's appointment was to provide a Chief of Ordnance
to attend to the duties of that important department.
He also addressed the President
on the same subject.
In the month of August, Adjutant-General Cooper
had earnestly approved General Beauregard
's proposition to introduce a rocket battery in his command.
The object of such a battery has already been explained.
The Chief of Ordnance
, having procured the manufacture of the rockets, General Beauregard
intrusted Captain E. P. Alexander
with the organization of the battery, and in the latter end of September, upon his recommendation, had authorized Lieutenant Edmund Cummins
to enlist a rocket company of fifty volunteers.
Being now in Richmond
on this duty, Lieutenant Cummins
, on application to the Post Quartermaster
and Commissary, found his authority questioned, and no attention given to his requisitions.
Referred ultimately for recognition to the Secretary of War
, Mr. Benjamin
, the latter told him to wait until the President
should decide the matter.
He then finally informed him that his orders were invalid, and remanded him to the army.
There followed a letter from the Secretary of War
to General Beauregard
, expressing his ‘no small surprise’ that he should have committed an act ‘without warrant in law,’ and informing him that he could be excused and ‘go unpunished,’ only on account of his motive and his defect of judgment.
This uncalled — for and altogether unwarrantable language, on the part of the Secretary of War
, staggered General Beauregard
, as it seemed improbable that Mr. Benjamin
had ventured it on his own responsibility.
Viewed as an extreme expedient to provoke a