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[274] by no responsible counter-statement or testimony whatsoever, and upon the formal assurance I received from the numerous gentlemen whom I have mentioned, that he was a good soldier and a good citizen, I did not feel myself justified in rejecting the services of a highly meritorious and thoroughly educated officer, upon unsubstantial rumors of an alleged moral error, which did not affect his military competency, and more especially at a time when the services of educated officers were so greatly needed for the command of our troops.

I therefore appointed Mr. Wyman to be colonel of the Sixteenth Regiment,—an appointment which, under the circumstances stated, commended itself to my judgment, and which I have no reason whatsoever now to regret, and, under like circumstances, should not hesitate to repeat.

As it was upon the faith of the assurances made to me by Mr. Thaxter and the other gentlemen in their communication of July 1 that the appointment of Colonel Wyman was made. I therefore conceive that your quarrel with this appointment should be with those gentlemen, rather than with myself; and therefore I propose to inclose copies of your correspondence with me, in this connection, to Mr. Thaxter, as representing them; and I must request you to address to them any future correspondence upon this subject, inasmuch as they are better acquainted than myself with Colonel Wyman, and his character, life, and connections, which I know chiefly through them. I desire to add, that, in all the intercourse which I have had with Colonel Wyman during the organization of his regiment, I never observed, on his part, the manifestation of any other qualities than those of an accomplished officer; and I should be very reluctant to give credit to your reproaches against his character, especially in view of the standing of those gentlemen by whom his character as a gentleman was certified to me.

In conclusion, I would say, that I do not feel that any reason exists, requiring me to enter into such an explanation as the above; but when an officer of the rank of major-general in the army of the United States volunteers thinks it necessary to diversify his occupations by needless flings at a fellow-officer in the same army, seeking to strike myself through him, a sense of honor and duty, both to the Commonwealth and to the gentleman thus struck at, requires me to spare no proper pains to see that justice is fully done.

As reference is made, in the above letter, to a letter received by the Adjutant-General from Colonel Wyman, we would say, that our recollection of it is, that it was brought to our office by an old friend of Colonel Wyman,—James Oakes, Esq., a

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