the consolidation I ask authority to muster out the Officers in excess of organization" Telegram received, DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); copies, ibid., Military Div. of the Miss., Hd. Qrs. Correspondence; DLC-USG, V, 40, 94. On Feb. 6, Halleck telegraphed to USG. "You are authorized to muster out officers made surplus by consolidating regiments. Application in regard to Cairo & Jeffersonville will be submitted to the Secty of War." ALS (telegram sent), DNA, 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. Feb. 4th 1864.
MAJ. GEN. H. W. HALLECK,
GEN. IN CHIEF, WASHINGTON,
Your letter of the 22d of Jan.y, enclosing copy of Col. Stager's of the 21st to you, is received. I have also Circular, or Order, dated Jan.y 1st 1864, post marked Washington Jan.y 23d and received on the 29th.
I will state that Beckwith is one of the best of men. He is competant and industrious. In the matter for which he has been discharged he only obeyed my order and could not have done otherwise than he did and remain. Beckwith has always been employed at Hd Qrs. as an operator and I have never thought of taking him with me, except when Hd Qrs. are moved. On the occation of my going to Knoxville I received Washington dispatches which I could not read until my return to this place. To remedy this for the future I directed Col. Comstock to acquaint himself with this Cypher. Beckwith desired,to telegraph Col. Stager on the subject before complying with my direction. Not knowing of any order defining who and who alone could be entrusted with the Washington Cypher I then ordered Beckwith to give it to Col. Comstock and to inform Col. Stager of the fact that he had done so. I had no thought in this matter of violating any order, or even wish, of the Secretary of War. I could see no reason why I was not as capable of selecting a proper person to entrust with this secret as