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Interviewed Secretary Of War Stanton Relative To An Independent Command And Extension Of Our Territory

Headquarters, Middle Department,

8th Army Corps.

Baltimore, Feby. 10, 1865.

Special Order No. 27.

Lieut. H. B. Smith, 5th N. Y. H. Arty. and Commanding

Detectives, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps, with one man,

Lucius Babcock, of his force, will proceed to New York City,

on special government business. After transacting same, he

will at once return to these headquarters.

Quartermasters will furnish transportation.

By command of Bvt. Brigadier General Morris.


Capt. & Actg. Provost Marshal.

The following refers to my seeking extended territory:

Headquarters, Middle Department,

8th Army Corps.

Baltimore, Feby. 21, 1865.



General Morris desires you to write a letter about Lieut.

Smith, asking such an appointment as will suit him. Address it

to the Adjutant General and send it to me and I will get the

General to put an endorsement on and forward it.

Don't you think you could take it to the Secretary and

accomplish something?

Yours truly,


Assistant Adjutant General.


Capt. Wiegel.

Pending the issuance of a commission which was to give me an independent

command, to operate in the Shenandoah Valley, and also south of the

lower Potomac, I had been striving to get authority to extend our

operations to the Rappahannock, to avail ourselves of the valuable data

we had accumulated.

Captain Wiegel and I went to Washington, as suggested by Colonel

Lawrence, to see Secretary Stanton. When we arrived at Mr. Stanton's

door I discovered the mental makeup and character of Wiegel. Mr.

Stanton, in manner, was not pleasant to interview. He was brusque,

rough, and appeared to think the world was made for him. Wiegel had much

avoirdupois, but not deep brain convolutions. He had been on General

Butler's staff in New Orleans. He was full of egotism, but when he

approached Mr. Stanton's door he wilted, and asked me to do the talking,

while he listened.

Mr. Stanton did not eat me, and on March 20th our request was granted. I

have always found it pleasanter to do business with the proprietor than

with the man that sweeps out.

There is no doubt but that Secretary Stanton made many critics by his

brusque manner. One did not need to waste words with him, but if a

communication was couched in terse language it pleased him. He disliked

a cringing interviewer. I did not dislike to have business with him, nor

have I ever with men similarly constituted.

Wiegel was a domineering blusterer to his subordinates, but a cringing

sycophant to those over him. Stanton's office was not a congenial

climate for him.

Secretary Dana was a most agreeable gentleman and no less an executive

than Stanton.