Important correspondence — resignation of General Walker.
The following correspondence appeared in the Whig,
Headquarters 8th Brigade,
Camp Reserve, Oct. 27, 1861.
I have the honor to resign my appointment as a Brigadier General
in the Provisional Army, which my self-respect as a gentleman and pride as a soldier will not allow me any longer to hold.
I was the first officer of the old army to resign and offer my services to the South
I was in the old service oftener wounded than any officer in it, and as often brevetted for gallantry on the field of battle, and left it without a stain on my character as a gentleman and soldier.
I was honored by my native State (Georgia
) with the commission of Major General
of the Provisional Army.
In order to be in active service, I have been on the Potomac
several months in command of a brigade, and nearly every mail recently has brought me intelligence of my being overslaughed by some young officer I ranked in the old service, and this in the face of an enemy.
Young men have been put over me here who had not graduated at the West Point Academy until after I had been wounded several times in the service, and recommended by no less a soldier than Gen. Taylor
for high military promotion.
Not content with putting my own countrymen
over me, an officeholder (General Lovell
, from New York city, who was there under pay of New York, when our countrymen were gallantly fighting at Manassas
and elsewhere,) has been brought to the South
, and made Major General
over men ‘ "to the manor born;"’ and, to cap the climax, the brigade I now command, and which I have been months drilling and putting in a proper state of discipline, is to be taken from me, and one of my junior Colonels
put in command of it. I leave my name with the brigade.
I know I have its confidence.
One would have suppposed that an Executive, who had himself been a soldier,
would have scorned to have wounded the sensibilities of an old and tried soldier.
The sacred cause
for which I drew my sword, I will fight for in my native State;
but I will not condescend to submit any longer to the insults and indignities of the Executive
I have the honor to be, with high consideration,
Confederate States America, War Department, Richmond. 29th Oct. 1861.
Your letter of the 27th inst., has been received.
In it you tender your resignation as Brigadier-General
in the Provisional Army.
It is due to self-respect that I should remark on the impropriety of your using this Department as the channel for conveying disrespectful and insulting comments on the action of the Commander-in-Chief
of the Army and the the Chief Magistrate
of the Confederacy
His sole offence, according to the statements of your letter, consists in not selecting
you to be a Major- General
, for there is no question of promotion
involved in the appointment of General Officers
The law expressly vests in him the power to choose
officers to command brigades and divisions, and it is no disparagement to any officer, whatever may have been his services, that the President
prefers another as a division commander.
Your statement, therefore, that you have been overslaughed, and that you have thus been subjected ‘"to the insults and indignities"’ of the Executive
, is based on a total misapprehension of his duties and your rights, according to the laws which govern the army.
Your communication has been submitted to the President
, and, by his direction, your resignation is accepted.
I have the honor to be,
Richmond, Oct. 30, 1861.
--Your communication, informing me of the acceptance of my resignation, has been received.
You state that ‘"it is due to self-respect
that I should remark on the impropriety of your using this Department as the channel for conveying disrespectful and insulting comments on the action of the Commander-in-Chief
of the Army and the Chief Magistrate
of this Confederacy."’ My resignation had to be sent through your Department.
It is the proper military channel, which your short sojourn in the Department made you ignorant of. How your self-respect could have been wounded by the plain, unvarnished statement of an old soldier, I am at a loss to divine.
Suffice it to say, that my communication was intended for the Executive
, and though you have attempted to hoist your self-respect before the country in defence of an Executive who chooses to do this and to do that in the face of the public opinion of the army and the country, I doubt very much whether, in trying to preserve your own self-respect,
(which has not been assailed,) you will not lose the respect of the country.