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Description

Passes on information from Mr. French to Prof. Mehan. Had no army at Washington, only a concourse of regiments.

Date

8-5-1861

Keywords

letter, McIlvaine, Chase, Civil War

Transcript

Cinc. August 5, 1861

My dear sir,

I received today, under your frank, a letter addressed to me at your house. It is from Professor [Mehan] of West Point about Dr. French and was designed for your eye. Part of Mr. Mehan’s letter is marked confidential but was so evidently intended for you, as well as me, that I enclose it. I cannot do it justice in any other way. To whom he refers as a favorite pupil of mine there in [?]. I do not know. Please destroy Mehan’s letter.

The other papers are from Dr. French to Professor Mehan. I may save you some reading by describing their contents. He [?] two grounds of complaint having retained. I do hope no such relation of justice and injury of character will be done as that which they are fearing. The paper succeeding A and the letter accompanying, addressed to G. B. Warren of Troy, during the [?] [?], are exclusively [?] Dr. French’s connection therewithin which was just [?] at all.

I hope your mind is getting above the waves more and more, and I am glad to hear that organization as well as other discipline, is in good progress under Mr. Clelland. The [?] is [?] had no army at Washington. We had only a [?] of Regiments. How it could have been that never were those regiments made to feel one another is supposed to endanger his tenure of his present office. First, that to which Mr. Cameron alluded. Second, the allegation that he interfered in the effort to elect Fremont to the Presidency. As to the first. His statement is worth your reading (it is brief, marked A), together with so much as Professor Mehan says to the same point. It shows Floyd’s hand in the company even at West Point.

As to the second, nothing need be more satisfactory. But you need not read it unless you find the need of it in endearing to protect a worthy and faithful officer whom the officers at the Academy are much attached, as well as their families are earnestly desirous of Brigade and Division [?] and this to learn how to be an army and how to be generalled as well as [?]. I cannot understand, I suppose it was a lack of officers till Congress [?] more.

Do you intend to propose me for Secretary at War? Why not, if my [?] pupil is Major General? Affectionate remembrance to Miss Kate and Nanny.

Yours affectionately,

Charles P. McIlvaine

Letter to S. P. Chase

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