Friday, May 27, 2011

Friends in High Places

This entry is from The War Of The Rebellion: A Compilation Of The Official Records Of The Union And Confederate Armies Series 3, vol 1, Part 1 (Union Letters, Orders, Reports)

In this letter written to the Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, Erasmus D Keyes gets a recommendation for a promotion  from General W. B. Franklin.  Cameron must have taken Franklin's advice, for it wasn't long after this that Keyes was promoted to Brigadier General with an effective back date of May 17th, and he briefly served on the staff of New York Governor Edwin D. Morgan where he helped to raise militia, which is why Franklin originally suggested him.

Also, comments Franklin makes about Scott in this quote are of interest.

NEW YORK, May 27, 1861.
Secretary of War, Washington:
SIR: .. . . there is nevertheless much confusion and clashing caused by the adverse opinions and interests of those engaged in raising and equipping these regiments. I believe that the knot will be cut at once if an officer of high rank be ordered here to take charge of this whole business. He may be either regular or volunteer, provided he have experience and power enough be given him to stop all unauthorized organizations, and that he be informed of all orders given by the department concerning the organizations.. . .

 . . . .It may be objected to my proposition to have a commanding officer here to take charge of this business that Colonel Scott represents the commanding general here. That is true, but he keeps quiet, seems to take but little interest in the whole matter, and is, in short, of no use. The whole of the trouble about this business wold have been avoided had the Department had here an energetic and reliable officer, who could have answered questions, given orders, have communicated daily with the Department, and l of its orders. It is not too late now to save much trouble and much money by the appointment or detail of such a person. Colonel Keyes is here, and would, I think, like to have a volunteer brigadier-general's commission, probably giving up for it his Army commission. I do not know that he is the best man for the purpose, but I suggest him if no one else be mentioned.

Very respectfully, yours,
Colonel Twelfth Infantry, U. S. Army.

General Erasmus Keyes, from the Library of Congress Collection

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