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54. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln on Curtis's removal from command


54. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln on Curtis's removal from command


Letter from General Samuel R. Curtis to Abraham Lincoln acknowledging receipt of a letter from Lincoln relieving him of his command of the Department of the Missouri, and requesting copies of documents in which he is charged with speculating in cotton. March 18, 1863. Copy.




Becki Plunkett and Stephen Vincent


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State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines

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Special Collections: Samuel R. Curtis Papers

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Head Quarters, Department of the Missouri, St. Louis, Mar[.] 18[,] 1863 His Exc[ellen]cy Pres[iden]t A. Lincoln I have just received an order relieving me from this command. This may give me time to vindicate my honor against imputations made against me at Head Quarters and which were refer[re]d to in your letter of 6th November last. In my reply to you, on the 9th of that month, I requested copies of any charges against me, and to you my desire to meet anything that has been or could be brought against me relative to speculations in cotton, as I had not directly or indirectly engaged in such business. I have not received any response to my letter and have received no copy of the reports which had been made against me. I have however heard that ex-parte testimony and statements have been going on, and I have reason to suppose they are on the files of the War Department. I again respectfully ask that I may have copies furnished me and also that I may have an opportunity to explain or refute any and all imputations that have thus, for six months been held and accumulating against me. I am so sensible Mr[.] President of the humiliation involved in my turning from the foe to take care of myself, that I assure you I should not take up the matter if I did not perceive that my opportunity to serve my country is at present suspended. If therefore such papers have not been sent for investigation by my peers, I respectfully ask that they may be, or that I may be allowed to go to Washington and place counter statements or testimony against such imputations[.] Again assuring you of my devotion to our cause, and fully sensible of the dangers surrounding me in a conflict which inspires the hatred of open and concealed enemies I shall not shrink from the utmost scrutiny and remain sir[,] Very respectfully & truly Your ob[edien]t serv[an]t[,] S. R. Curtis[,] Maj. Genl.