Washington, D. C., April 4, 1864.
HON. H. WILSON, CHAIRMAN COM. MILITARY AFFAIRS:
SIR—I would most respectfully, but earnestly, ask for the confirmation of Brigadier-General John A. Rawlins by your honorable body. General Rawlins has served with me from the beginning of the rebellion. I know he has most richly earned his present position. He comes the nearest being indispensable to me of any officer in the service. But if his confirmation is dependent on his commanding troops, he shall command troops at once. There is no department commander, near where he has served, that would not most gladly give him the very largest and most responsible command his rank would entitle him to.
Believing a short letter on this subject more acceptable than a long one, I will only add, that it is my earnest desire that General Rawlins should be confirmed: that if he fails, besides the loss it will be to the service and to me personally, I shall feel, that by keeping with me a valuable officer, because he made himself valuable, I have worked him an injury.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General U. S. A.
Henry Coppée, Grant and his Campaigns: A Military Biography (New York, 1866), p. 458. On April 9, 1864, Lt. Col. Theodore S. Bowers wrote to U. S. Representative Elihu B. Washburne. "The interest I feel in the confirmation of Gen. Rawlins, not only from personal feelings to him, but from considerations of the highest importance to Gen. Grant and to the country, will I trust be accepted by you as an apology for intruding this letter upon your attention. —I see by the papers that the Senate makes confirmations every few days, and I have become apprehensive that Gen. Rawlins' case will be postponed, until finally the number of Brigadier Generals allowed by law will have been made, and he thus go by default. Gen. Grant has written to Senators Wilson and Hale that Rawlins is in