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Asks appointment to West Point for nephew - President ok'd last fall, but nothing came through. Apologizes about his feelings against Grant. Coxe will explain his case well enough.

Date

5-28-1863

Keywords

letter, McIlvaine, Chase, West Point, Grant, Coxe

Transcript

Cincinnati May 28/63

My dear Mr. Chase,

I want to ask of you a personal favor. When I was in Washington last fall, I called on the President & asked him as a favor to me to give to the son of my sister Mr[s] Nami, of Phil’a (the sister who you may remember direct at Mr. Sewards, with my daughter on our return from Europe) one of the appointments in his hands to W. Point. The Pres. was very prompt & kind & said he would do it if he could, that he thought he could, as he had [?] “but two or three committals,” & several times he assured me he would if he could & thought he could. He made a special [?] of the matter which he read to me. I was pretty confident the appointment would be given. But it was not, & I have no fault to find or complaint to make. The President was sincere in what he said to me, but something turned up & I suppose he could not, consistently with some other claim. Now it is probable that when the new appointees come to enter, it will happen as it used to do when I was there, that either some will not report or will be rejected at the examination & the vacancies so created the President will fill. [Now] what I beg to ask of you as a great [favor] is this. My nephew during this year must be doing something else for another way of life or else he must have something to depend on as to W. Point. I want to ascertain from the President, who I suppose is just as willing to do me a favor as he was last fall, whether in case of a vacancy occurring, he will warrant me to rely on his giving it to my nephew, or if the youth waits till the next year’s appointment, he will give me reason to expect & depend on it then. I beg to excuse this [?] on the ground of the necessity of knowing whether to put the youth to some other line of work or not. You know how unwillingly I ever trouble any of you with anything of my own.

I feel bound in the present aspect of Gen. Grants affairs to beg his pardon for doubts expressed of his competence in my last letter. I rejoice as much as if I had been more confiding, in what he has done & his brave army has done. I hope either that [?] [burgh] will [?] before his [?] can be [?] by strong [?] of the enemy or that he will be reinforced enough to meet whatever the enemy can bring into.

I learn from my soon that Mr. Coxe has written you concerning the obstacle which his connections with the [?] [?] case placed in the way of his being appointed a Judge by the Pres. I do not know what he has written, but from what my son has told me, I suppose he can explain that matter quite satisfactorily. His loyalty, his opposition to [?], his strong hate for the Rebellion & Rebels are most manifest. I know nobody who shows stronger feelings of that kind, &, poor man, he has suffered enough by the Rebellion. He has two sisters married in Va. One of them Mr[s?]. Cullen who lives in the Eastern shore is I believe not [?]. She has two sons in our army, who are all loyalty. But his other sister, Mr[s?] [?] goes all lengths with her husband, & in consequence of the strong language of Mr. Coxe to her about the Rebellion all communication was broken off at the [?] of the war. His eldest daughter, Mr[s?]. [?], is wholly alienated because of the war. He is entirely alone in his old age, except as he is blessed with an admirable wife. I think if the President will reconsider his case, he would find no reason to question his being a fit person to be put into office.

As to my dear sister, Mr[s] Namis, she has purchased what I ask for her, by herself, denying & [?] attentions to the sick & wounded soldiers in the Phila hospitals. She visits them regularly, & has done it from the beginning & given her whole heart to their comfort.

Excuse my bothering you, & believe me as ever

Your affectionate friend
Charles P. McIlvaine

Letter to S.P. Chase

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