War Dept. require that all vacancies in regular regiments be filled by the promotion of non-commissioned officers. If this rule were changed, such vacancies would all be filled by political appointments, and the non-commissioned officers of the army would have no chance of promotion. If the parties referred to can get appointments in volunteer regiments they can be retained by you on Engineer duty. Your application to the Governor of any of the Western states would undoubtedly secure their appointment." LS, ibid., Letters Received.
On Jan. 18, USG telegraphed to Halleck. "I would like to have Captain Muhler [Merrill?] and Ruse [Reese] of the Engineers directed to report to me for assignment The former as Chief Engineer of the Department of the Cumberland and the latter of Shermans" Telegram received, ibid., RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); copies, ibid., RG 393, Military Div. of the Miss., Hd. Qrs. Correspondence; DLC-USG, V, 40, 94.
Head Quarters, Mil. Div. of the Miss.
Nashville Ten. Jan.y 18th 1864,
HON. H. WILSON,
CHAIRMAN MIL. COM. U. S. SENATE,
Permit me to address you, as Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, on a subject which I believe Conscientiously the welfare of the Country and best interests of the service are interested in. I want to speak in behalf of the confirmation of Gens. Sherman & McPherson 1 as Brigadiers in the regular Army. They are both men of the purest integrity and greatest capacity as soldiers. They are never found defending themselves against charges made through the press of the country, except by an untiring devotion to their duties. They are a class of General officers the country cannot well despense with. Either of themis qualified to be trusted alone with our largest Armies. This is a quality not