Head Quarters, Department of the Tennessee
Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 23rd, 1863.
COL. J. C. KELTON A. A. G.
WASHINGTON D. C.
Lieut J. H. Wilson, Topographical Engineer, having been appointed Inspector General with the rank of Lt. Col. and attached to the 10th. Army Corps, I would respectfully ask a suspension of the order taking him away from here. This Department is almost entirely without Staff Officers of the Regular Army, and Col. Wilson of all othersis the one I can least spare at this time.
Lt. Col. Wilson is now going to Youngs Point 1 on duty. If his order to report for duty to the 10th Army Corps, is to be complied with immediately please answer by telegraph, and I will order him back at once
Cannot Col. Wilson be assigned to this Department with his present rank ? at least temporarily
Very Respectfully &c.,
U S. GRANT
Copies, DLC-USG, V, 5, 8, 24, 88; DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Hd. Qrs. Correspondence. On Jan. 20, 1863, USG had telegraphed to Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck. "Lieut. Col. Wilson of the 10th. Army Corps is on duty with me. His services are absolutely necessary. May I retain him ?" Copies, ibid. Also on Jan. 20, Maj. Gen. David Hunter had issued orders naming 1st Lt. James H. Wilson as asst. inspector-gen. with the rank of 1t. col. O. R., I, xiv, 392. According to Wilson, USG said: "I see old David Hunter and go him one better. He has made you lieutenant colonel and inspector general of the Tenth Corps, but I shall nominate you inspector general of the Army of the Tennessee. That beats him and you will remain with us!" Under the Old Flag (New York and London, 1912), I, 147.
On Jan. 29, Halleck telegraphed to USG. "If Col Wilson is actually engaged in a seige he can remain temporarily but he cannot be detached from his proper command" Telegram received, DNA, RG 393, Dept. of the Tenn., Telegrams Received; copies, ibid., Hd. Qrs. Correspondence; ibid., RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); ibid., RG 108, Telegrams Sent; DLC-USG, V, 5, 8, 24, 88.