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Freemont not capable as a general - McIlvaine makes some suggestions as to the kind of general needed. Hopes they take no more men from Kentucky or Ohio. Beauregard may try and take Lexington. Then what?
letter, McIlvaine, Chase, Civil War
McIlvaine, Charles Pettit, "Letter to S. P. Chase" (1861). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 148.
Cinc., Sept. 26, 1861
My dear sir,
I am much obliged for your kind [unofficial] recd yesterday. I wish now only to say that in my judgment I that of many with whom I converse here, such as Rev Buchanan &c. the Cabinet are on the right trail as to [Missioner’s] matters. I have been depressed in mind for a long time under the belief that we should learn Fremont’s incapacity for that command, by him [?] disasters. My opinion was based on my brother’s predictions as soon as he was appointed, who [knowable] about him & the general want of confidence in the minds of [?] [?]. He may have great energy, so has a bombshell when exploded, so has [?]. You will find not that he will not do, + may it be before greater [?] shall have come. As soon as I saw that Col. C.F. Smith had been ordered to [Missioner’s] + made a Brigadier, I comforted myself with the idea that it was done with the view of having the right man to take Fremont’s place in case of need or to [replace] his weakness. He should be a Major Gen. & be part in that vast command.
Excuse a Bishop who is not a Major Gen. & don’t let any more Western troops be ordered East. We wait all here, + [?], [anxious]. What if [Beamgard], behind his screen, is sending his western men to Ky. + to take Louisville & Cinc. They can do it now for we have very little organized force, + that unarmed, for the most part.
We pray today for you all at the helm, with all our hearts.
Chas. P. McIlvaine