Jany 31 t/64
Genl. J. Patton Anderson
My Dear sir,
My long silence after the receipt of your two favors is by no means due to a want
of appreciation of same. Your suggestions in regard to the army, I was, & will always be,
glad to get. And as to that which relates to yourself, my delay in replying to you has been
because of my concern to give you a satisfactory response. Failing twice to see the
President, I wrote him in regard to you, & besides urging your promotion as eminently
deserved, stated that it looked not a little singular under all the circumstances that you
had not been promoted before. When I had waited about a week for some reply, and
none came, I told his Secty. that I wanted one as soon as it could be given. The next day
I received a note simply saying my letter had been referred to the Secty. of War. I went
to Mr. Seddon & he seemed to know nothing about it, so I concluded it had been shelved
"among the files." I then asked him what was the difficulty in your promotion. He
replied he knew of none, except that there was no Division for you. I replied that could
hardly be, since you had been so much of your time commanding one. He seemed struck
with the fact, & said he would enquire further. I have had nothing more from him. I
afterwards saw the President, & made the enquiry & statement. He spoke in the most
kindly & complimentary terms of you, but insisted there was no Division for you, and
gave that as reason why you have not been promoted. If there is any delay from a want
of appreciation of your service or confidence in any respect in you I have not been able to
discover it in any conversation with either of them.
I regret that I cannot advise you of your promotion, as I had hoped to do. Mallory
& Hilton both tell me they have urged it.
The Senate has passed a Military Bill, which you will see in the papers. As the
House has it in secret session I cannot advise you of its probable action. The Bill does
not go to the extent you recommended. As it is so difficult to get supplies for the Army
even now, it is apprehended there will be too great risk in a sweeping disturbance of
industrial pursuits. Of course, regaining Tenn. will greatly relieve the difficulty; but a
failure in that would be fatal if to accomplish it we rendered ourselves unable to support
the Armies afterwards. But I hope the Army will be much strengthened by our
legislation, though we are too slow in it.
I should be glad to hear from you at all times, & to receive your suggestions about
Army matters. I regretted not being at home to see Walker.
P.S. I forgot to say Bragg has recommended your promotion.
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.