Cape Girardeau, Mo.|
August 31st 1861|
Your letter of the 26th is just received. As to the relative rank of officers (Brigadiers) you are right but in all the balance you are laboring under an erronious impression. There has been no move made affecting me which has not been complimentary rather than otherwise though calculated to keep me laboriously employed. I was sent to Ironton when the place was weak and threatened with a superior force and as soon as it was rendered secure was ordered to Jefferson City, another point threatened. I was left there but a week when orders were sent me ordering to this point puting me in command of all the forces in S. E. Mo. South Ill. and evrything that can opperate here. All I fear is that too much may be expected of me. My duties will absorb my entire attention and I shall try not disappoint the good people of Ill. who, I learn from evry quarter, express an enthusiasm for me that was wholly unexpected. —Gen. Prentiss is not a particular favorite as you suspect nor is there a prejudice against him. I think all the Brigadiers are acceptable, with the rank assigned them by the President.
The Brigadiers are not all up north as you suspect. I know of but one, Hurlbut, who is there. Gen. McClernand 1 is at Cairo, Prentis at Ironton and I presume Curtis 2 will be with the command under me.
Gen. Hunter 3 is at Chicago but I look upon that as temporary. I have not heard of any command being assigned him as yet and do not know that he has sufficiently recovered from wounds received in the late engagements in Virginia 4 to take the field. Hunter will prove himself a fine officer.
The letters spoken of by you have not all been received. One sent to Galena I got and answered. My promise to write to you evry two weeks has been complied with and however busy I may