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[309] had been sent up the river to Harrison's Landing. He found the Twenty-first Regiment, which had come from North Carolina, ‘in fine condition,’ and only requiring a hundred and fifty recruits to fill it up. Colonel Clarke, who commanded the Twenty-first, informed Colonel Ritchie, ‘that he had forwarded his recommendations for promotions, and had nothing more to add, excepting that he hoped your Excellency would not give any commissions to officers who had resigned. I will add here, that this is a point upon which I find the greatest sensitiveness, in every direction. The number of resignations have been scandalously large; only those are accepted which are considered beneficial to the service; and it would have a most disastrous effect to send back men with increased rank, or with any rank, who have shirked the hardships and exposures of the army.’

Colonel Ritchie next visited the Twenty-eighth Regiment, which was composed, in great part, of men of Irish birth, and which had been brought up from South Carolina to reinforce the Army of the Potomac. It was stationed at Newport News, and formed part of General Stevens's division. Of this regiment, the Colonel writes,—

They have made full returns of the number of recruits required. Colonel Monteith is under arrest, and is now before a court-martial. He has been very ill, and is such a sufferer as to be unfit for duty. The lieutenant-colonel has resigned. Major Cartwright is in command, and is an excellent officer. The regiment is composed of splendid material; but it requires two new field officers, of energy and capacity, and who are also gentlemen, to bring up its morale and discipline, which is, at present, very unsatisfactory.

Colonel Monteith was a citizen of New York. He was strongly recommended by James T. Brady, Esq., of that city, and by prominent Irish gentlemen of Boston. The Governor had no acquaintance with Colonel Monteith, but commissioned him upon the representations made of his fitness by the gentlemen referred to. In five days after Colonel Ritchie wrote the report from which we quote,—viz., on the 5th of August,— Colonel Monteith was discharged. Colonel Ritchie left Fortress Monroe on Saturday, the 26th, for Harrison's Landing,

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