September 30, 1863,
Major General J. M. Schofield to General-in-Chief Halleck
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE
Saint Louis, September 30, 1863.
General-in- Chief, Washington, D.C.:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of September 26, inclosing the President's approval of my General Orders, No. 96. I shall follow your advice relative to its execution. I have not yet applied it in any case to the newspaper press, and may not be compelled to do it at all. The dismissal of several militia officers and arrest of other persons engaged in riotous proceedings has produced a wholesome effect. I hope to get along without further serious trouble.
I inclose you a copy of the Leavenworth Conservative of September 24, for the purpose of asking your opinion whether it is a proper subject for the application of martial law. It is so filled with low personal abuse that I do not feel confidence in my own judgment of what my duty is in connection with it. I am willing to submit to anything which duty may require, and believe I am as indifferent to such attacks as any man with proper sensibilities can be; but I cannot convince myself that a tame submission to such personal abuse and contempt of my authority, and that of the President, can be consistent with my duty to myself or to the Government. How is any officer in command to maintain either his self-respect or the respect of others if he tolerates such open contempt of his authority? Such things have not been tolerated in this department under any previous commander, nor do I believe they ought to be now, but I am willing to act in accordance with your advice in the matter. I do not ask it for the purpose of relieving myself from responsibility, but simply to avoid error. I am quite willing to be held responsible for the consequences of whatever I may do or recommend to be done.
I feel compelled to say that I believe you are not altogether right in your information about the factions in Missouri. If the so-called "claybank" factions are not altogether friendly to the President and administration, I have not been able to discover it. The men who now sustain me are the same who rallied round Lyon and sustained the Government in the dark days of 1861, while the leaders of the present "charcoal" faction stood back until the danger was past.
I believe I have carried out my instructions as literally as possible, yet I have received a reasonable support from one faction and the most violent opposition from the other. I am willing to pledge my official position that those who support me now will support me in the execution of any policy the President may order. They are the real friends of the Government. It is impossible for me to be blind to this fact, notwithstanding the existence to some extent of the factional feeling to which you allude.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
[Inclosure No. 1.]
September 24, The Weekly Conservative, "General Orders No. 96"
[Inclosure No. 2.]
Before September 30, From The White Cloud Chief, "Schofield's Last Grunt".
[Inclosure No. 3.]
Before September 30, From The Weekly Conservative
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