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17. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln on Curtis' military conduct and potential for promotion


17. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln on Curtis' military conduct and potential for promotion


Letter from General Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln expressing his appreciation for Lincoln's support for his promotion, noting his qualifications to be a Major General, and clarifying his actions related to General John C. Fremont's removal as commander of the Department of the West. December 12, 1861. Copy of original.




Becki Plunkett and Stephen Vincent


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Original scanned at 600 dpi w/ sRGB color space.


State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines

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Special Collections: Samuel R. Curtis Papers

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Copy Head Quarters St. Louis Dist. St. Louis Mo. Dec.12 1861 His Exc[ellenc]y[,] A. Lincoln President The Hon. Col. Vandiver informs by letter that in a private conversation you kindly spoke of my deserving promotion. He also says that the Secretary of War expressed himself in favor of my being a Major General. All this is very agreeable and flattering to me. But you also remarked that General McClellan was ?ǣnow well satisfied with your [my] course?ǥ carrying the implication that he may at some time have been dissatisfied. I had prepared full explanations with a map of the forts of St. Louis to send the Commander in Chief when Major Genl. Halleck arrived, but upon a suggestion of my purpose, with consent of the new commander; General Halleck expressed a desire to present the matter himself. The Commander in Chief will perceive that I was thus prevented from explaining what may have appeared in terse Telegraphic Correspondence a want of fidelity or lack of judgement. I may so far intrude on your indulgence as to say the serious and petty complications of the Fremont affair could not be detailed without needless imposition on your time; and assure you that no consequences to myself induced a moments delay, or a shadow of turning in the final [?] execution of your order. I hope no shadow may fall upon my path because of my part in that affair and earnestly desire that education, long service, zeal and fidelity may entitle me to the confidence of the President and the Commander in chief. I made some sacrifice when I resigned a seat in Congress to take the hazards of Military reputation, even as a Brigadier; and at my period of life I am justified in seeking advancement by all honorable means. My command (24,000 men), my influence, my usefulness should however be the inducements to promotion; and I trust that my ability and deserts will receive kind consideration from those under whom I have the honor to serve. Hoping your Excellency will pardon this intrusion in behalf of myself I have the honor to remain Your excellencies obt. Servt. (signed) Saml. R. Curtis Brig. Genl.