Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"A regiment of officers"

Judging from the accounts that I have read, the Union Army of the Frontier was rife with political intrigue—basically on a par or, shockingly, perhaps even worse than the Union Army of the Potomac. Today, I was studying some documents in the Official Records and found a letter written by Colonel William Weer on the eve of the First Indian Expedition into the Indian Territory. The expedition itself turned into a bit of an embarrassment for Weer because Colonel Frederick Salomon arrested him, but that is a story for another day.

Here is a short excerpt from the letter written by Weer on June 26, 1862, from Humboldt, Kansas:

“Commissions to officers from the Governor are pouring in daily. I am told that the Tenth [Kansas Infantry] is rapidly becoming a regiment of officers. To add to these difficulties there are continual intrigues, from colonels down, for promotions and positions of command. Officers are leaving their posts for Fort Leavenworth and elsewhere to engage in these intrigues for more prominent places. The camps are filled with rumors of the success of this or that man. Factions are forming, and a general state of demoralization being produced. I can see no remedy for these evils but the prompt punishment of all officers who in this manner seem more anxious for better pay than for better improvement in the knowledge of their duties” (Official Records, vol. 13, 441-442).

No comments:

Post a Comment