Virginia. General Assembly. House of Delegates.

Doc [serial] online

. (page 62 of 64)
Online LibraryVirginia. General Assembly. House of DelegatesDoc [serial] → online text (page 62 of 64)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

instrnctiotis plainly set forth the nature and extent of the difficulties alluded to. He has been
dir-ected to give his personal attentiou to the subject ; and I trust that liereaflcr there will
be less occasion for complaint. I aui of the opinion that the presence of a chief in this de-
partment witli yoi*r comniaiid is essential, and that his aj)pointuient and assignment to duty
will be found to be most opportune. ^

Very respectfully.

Your ob't .serv't, .

Major Sf Q. M. in Charge
Maj. Gen. J. B. Floyd,

ComiVs la. State Line.



Wythevim.k, Doc. ir>, 1862.

I'^uclosed, I have th<! honor of handing you a copy of the order which
C'apt. J. 15. Goodloe has received from Major Smoot, and which Capt. Goodloo says is a
copy of the official paper obtained by Major Smoot from Richmond, and upon which order
he says he intends to hold his post hero.

Very respectfully,

Your ob't serv't,

.)N0. F. ALVICY,
Capt. d: A. Q. M. Va. State. Line.
Maj. GkN. J. K. Fi.oyd,

Comd's Va. State Live.

Tlio order enclosed is identical with the paper marked " D," herewith transmitted.

T. E. 1)., A. A. Gen.

Received at G. Springs, l)t;c. 18, 1862. at — o'clock — minutes, by telegraph from
Richmond :

To Major Gen. Jno. li. Floyd:

It is reported that Cajjt. (xoodloe of the Q. M. general's department, has
been arrested by you, and ordered to report at your head qtiarters, to be tried by
court martial. Capt. Goodloe was acting and in charge at Wytheville, under directions of
the governor. His connection is with tlie Q. M. general's department, and incidentally only
with your command ; and the governor deeming his .services indispensable at Wytlieville,
directs that ho be forthwith discharged from arrest, and that ho be not further interfered
with in the station which has been a-ssigned him by the governor's authority.

By command.


140 Doc. No. 45.

ExEfTTivK Department,

Richmond, Va., Jan. 2, 1863.
Dear Sir:

Your letter of tho 19th ultimo to the adjutant general, has been sub-
mitted to me by that officer. I regret that indisposition for several days, and the preparsi-
tion of my message, has delaytd a reply until the present moment.

To remove all misapprehension, and give you such information and explanation as its
importance demands, I deem it best to reply in person. I havf .-arefuUy examined the pa-
pers enclosed, and am convinced you will be satisfied with the view I have taken of the
subject. You do me no more than justice in saying you are '■ far from believing that disre-
spect or interference was intended by the governor" with >our command, and also in
ascribing to me an earnest desire to " give my cordial suppr)rr and co-operation in all your
efforts to, advance the state line." Such has invarinbly been the feeling by which I have
been actuated and governed.

The difficulty which has occurred with regfard to the quart< rmiister general and his sub-
ordinates, has arisen, as I think, from a misapprehension of the several laws creating this
department, and of the law which authorized the force under >'>ur command to be raised.

The laws themselves are in perfect harmony, and if followed implicitly, can lead to no

By ordinances of the couvoition of the 24th and IWth of April 18(51, it is provided that
the governor be authorized and required to organize, among other departinpnts, "a quarter-
master's di^partment, with one quartfsrmaster general, with the rank of colonel; one assis-
tant quartermaster general, with the rank of lieutenant colonel ; two quartermasters, with
the rank of major; and four ;ts.sistant (luartermasters. with the rank of captain." It is also
provided that thct governor shall appoint the officers of this department. The duties of the
<lepartmeiit and its officers are prescribed by theordinam-es on the subject, and these officers
are required to render their accounts to the auditing board for settlement. In fact, the de-
partment is one of the bureaus of the government. The quartermaster's department is
required " to distribute to the army all clothing, camp and garrison equipage, and other
articles required for the urmy, and to prescribe and enforce, aecording to such regulations
as shall be approved by the said board, a proper accountability for such clothing, equipage
and other articles so distributed to thV ariuy." The ordinance also provides that there shall
be added to the quartermaster's department military storekeepers, not exceeding three in
number, who shall be appoint< d in the same manner ;is the (piartermaster general.

The ordinances also show that this entire department is under the control of the governor
and of the auditing board, and not under the control of any general or officer in the field.

Now, besides the organization of this department, the act of assembly provides for the
raising a force of ten thousand men for the defence of the state. It provides for the appoint-
ment of a major general to cinnmand this force. It gives to the major geneial a staff, con-
sisting '<of two aids de camp, one assistant adjutant general, and one division quartermas-
ter, who shall act as commissary."

It gives a brigade quartermaster, who is to act as commissarj. It gives to each regi-
ment a regimental quarterma.ster, who is to act as commissary. These, and the other forces
authorized to be raised, are manifestly under the command of the major general. He b
authorized accordingly to organize this staff, and make requisitions to supply hie command
with necessary supplies. These requisitions must be made ujxjn the quartermaster gene-
ral's department, and if not complied with, the officers in charge should be immediately re-
ported for neglect of duty. The law to carry out its provisions appropriates the sum of two
million five hundred thousand dollars. The quartermaster's department is not paid out of

Doc. No. 45. 141

this fund, while the staff oiBcers attached to your force are. This of itself establishes the >
fact that it is a separate and independent organization.

This being the law, the facts in controversy are simply the following : That Major Smoot
was appointed by me quartermaster general, and assigned to duty, with his ofifice ear
tablished at Lynchburg ; required to purchase all nt'C(!Ssary supplies for the state forces
wherever tht^y may be, and to furnish these supplies upon proper requisitions. Capt.
Gbodloe was also appointed assistant quartermaster, assigned to duty under Major Smoot,
and located by him, for conve,ni<in«;e to your force, at Wythevillc

These officers were appointed by me, responsible to me and to the auditing board, not
appointed by you, and constituting no part of your staff or quiirtermastcr's department.
The quartermaster's stores of the state had been placed under the charge of Capt. Goodloe,
and he was responsible for them; had given bond and security according to law, and could
not give them up, without violating his duty, to any other perst>n.

Under a misapprehension, as I suppose, of the law, an order was given by yon virtually
to displace Capt. Goodloe, and to transfer his duties and the stores in his possession to an-
other. This order he declined to obey ^because he believed it would contravene other orders
issued to him from the quartermaster general's department, in conformity to orders from tho
adjutant gen(!ral, under authority from the executive. For this he was arrested, and ordered
to report at your head quarters, to be tried for disobeying orders issued by you. Under thesfl
circumstances, the order of the adjutant general, by telegriiph, directing Capt. Goodloe'.s
discharge from arrest, was issued. An examination of precedents since the receipt of your
letter, has satisfied me that it ;s usual to issue such orders, rather in the •latine of a request;
but of this I was not aware at the time. I say now, there was no disposition to reflect upon
you officially, though the language of the dispatch is stronger tliau 1 would employ, on
mconsideration. It was not intended to wound or mortify you.

The difficulty heretofon; existing will be easily obviated either directly or by order through
jour staff, upon the quartermaster general, or his assistants, specifying the articles desired,
the quantity or number necessary, the point at which they are wanted, and the offic<;r to
whom they are to be delivered. It will be my pleasure as it will be my duty, if such requi-
sitions are not complied with, immediatcdy to ascertain the cause, and apply the proper
corrective ; for so long as your army is in the fi<dd, it is my sincere, desire t<> make it efficient,
and as far as in my power to aid you in your rightful authority.

With my view of the law and the facts, thus candidly presented, I should d«em it im-
proper, again to place Capt. Goodloe under arn-st, or to pas.s a censun- upmi Major 8moot
for his action in the premises. But it will afford me pleasure to give ear to just complaints,
and to lend my authority on all occasions to right any wrong to which you may consider
yourself or your force improperly subjected.

I fully appreciate the importance and necessity of sustaining the authority of officers,
and am aware that a failure to sustain them tends to produce insubordinaticui ; but this can
not be the CAse, when tho officers are not under the jurisdiction of the officer in command.

In conclusion, I take occasion to say that I have been gratified by the reception of your
report of your late successes, and bestow upon you therefor, with pleasure, the meed of
praise. I shall greatly rejoice at any additional success, both for your own sake, and for
the interests and glory of the state.

• Respectfully and truly,


P. S. I would be glad to sec you here, if you can safely leave your command. — J. L.

Uaj. Gen. J. B. Floyd,

Camp in Poor Valley.

142 Doc. No. 45.

Lynchburg, Va., Jan. '20, 1.^63.

General :

" Having been advised recently that Capt. J. F. Alvey, A. Q. M. Vir-

ginia state line, on tlie VMh December 1862 addressed a letter to Maj. Gen. John B. Floyd,
coinnianditig, t\:c., from Wytheville (a copy of which is on file in your office), in -which it
is stated that 1 issned an order to Capt. J. B. Goodloo, annulling an order of Gen. F.'s, with
the avowed intention of having it confirmed by you subsequently, I have to request that
the following statement may be filed in your office in answer thereto :

On the r)th of Deceuiber I received a copy of Gen. Floyd's order alluded to, and on same
day I addressed you a communication upon the subject. On the 6th Decemlx'r 1 left this
office in the discharge of the duty assigned to me by the governor, in connection with se-
curing a supply of salt for the state line troops, by iniprcssiuent if necessary. On the 10th
December I received at Wytheville, from my office here, a copy of your letter and order of
8th in reply to mine of the fith same month. I left this copy of your order with t'apt. Good-
loe, and on my return lure on tli<^ 12th Decx'rabpr, addressed Gen. Floyd and Capt. Goodloe
officially, and enclosed them copies of the order in question. The copy of tiie order referred
to in Capt. Alvey's letter, is the one enclosed to me at Wytheville on the S)th, and received
by me on the Huh Deceiiiber, as 1 have stated.

I have only to say further, that the statement, a« made by Capt. Alvey, is incorrect, and
that 1 did not issunthe order in question, or any othc-r in that connection. I was satisfied
that the original order (of which a copy had beeu aent to me at Wytheville) was filed in my
office, and advised ('apt. Goodloe; that I would send an official copy on my return; which I
did. I have no reason to question Capt. Alvey's understanding of the facts, as learned by
him at Wytheville, and do not believe he would willfully ])irvert the truth, 'i'he facts prove
me guiltless of the charge of entrejiching upon your appiopriate duties, and I desire tliat
they be filed in your office, with the papers containing the charge.

Very respoclfuiiy.

Your obedient servant,

QtMrterrnaster Gen. of Va.
Gen. Wm. H RiciiARn.soN,

Adjt. Gen. of Virginia

Richmond, January 24, 1863.
SlU :

In the latt^'r part of November, finding myself far away from any depot of
supplies, and finding it impossible upon any requisition or order I could make, to get sup-
plies absolutely necessary for my troops, I sent an order to the quartermaster at Wytheville,
to proceed at once to Jeffersonville for the purpose of attending to the business of that post,
and of sending me supplies, so bitterly needed by the destitute troops under my command.

This order was disobeyed by the officer to whom it was given; and afterwards, to justify
this breach of all military decorum and discipline, a paper purporting to be an order was
procured to be issued from the adjutant general's office, in these words :

" Adjutant General's Office, Dec. 8, 1862.
Capt. J. B. Goodloe having been appointed quartermaster to the state line, for the special

Doc. No. 45. 1A:\

purpose of acting in conjunction with and under the orders of Maj. L. R. Smoot, in ch.-irir'^
of the quartermaster general's department, is not subject to the orders of any other ofticrr.
or to be removed from any station or charge which Miij. Smoot may assign him.

By command.

Wm. H. Rich.\rdson a. G"

Upon this paper, addressed to no one whatever, and issued through no rhanTiol
known to any.military organization, this flagrant disobi'dience of orders is attempted to 1>«
justified and covered up. I was sure, frou\ the first, that your excellency had no kiiowledgo
of these transactions, even befon- you said as much to Col. Clarkson. If^ you had, the ser-
vice would have been saved the stigma of gross ignorance of all military rules which the
transaction displayed, and the state would have been saved from large losses which doubt-
less have occurred from leaving the important depot at Jcffersouville without a yiroper offi-
cer. Every novice in any service knows that all orders from superior officers should bn
transmitted to those affected by them, through the officers regularly in command. In this
case a mo.-jt important order, one that subverts entirely the whole discipline and iconouiy of
the army, and puts a quartermaster in command over a major general, is c(immuuicated to
the general by a copy, through the hands of the very quartermaster guilty of the disobe-
dience of orders ! This monstrous disconiti sy, of addressing so important an order a.s thisi
thrdugh such a channel, I could myself overlook for the sake of the public service; but the
disorganization and actual injury which is inflicted upon the entire command, by investing
a quartermaster or two with exclusive right to give or refuse, in .short, to control entirely
the sujiplies of tiie forces jfi the field, is whatJfcaunot on any accoi;ut be tolerated for a mo-
m(5nt; and I am sun; that such will be the judgment of your excellency. Already very
serious losses have been sustained by the state in consequence of the disorganization pro-
duced by this order. Large numbers of fine beef cattle, bought by my order at very low
rates iu the country overrun by the enemy, and sent back (or safety and to be slaughtered,
have been allowed to wander about through the country, and for the want of food and at-
tention, are entire)}' unfit for use, whilst no doubt numbers have strayed off and are lost
entirely. This would have been avoided if I could have had a pr^ll(;l• quartermaster at
Jeffcrsonville ; but as matters no.w statul, any order given to any quarlermasfer, however
vital to the service, is liable to bo countermanded by the adjutant general, without its being
thought worth while to give me the slightest notice of it. I have been urging by t>very
means I tliouglit legitimate and proper, the furnishing of the absolute necessaries for my
men, but all in vain. A large number of the men are without shoes and blankets, clothes^
tents and cooking utensils; and among three regiments there are only five axes, and not
epades and picks enough to burj' the dead. This all results from the withdrawal of the
quartermasters from my command, by this order of the adjutant general.

Tliese transactions had better be speedily looked into; and this order of the adjutant ge-
neral should be at once revoked. The injury attending it has been aire a ly too long stib-
initted to. The imbecility of the quartermaster's department has carried extreme destitulioa
amongst a large number of the men. Many of these have m consequence left the .service ;
and uul<ss there is a speedy change, I entertain serious fears that theyfeomraand cannot bo
iield together much longer.

The quartermaster's estabii.shment at liynchburg is wholly useless to the .service, and
ought to be at once abolished. It would save mijny thousand dollars to the state, now
needlessly expended.

Tlie ordinance of the Virginia convention, passed on the 30th April IHfil, did, as stated
by your excelhmcy. provide for the organization of a qnarlcrmaster's bureau. But the con-
vention provided also for the appointment of a major general to command all the Virginia

144 Doc. No. 45.

forces, of a snrprcon {i^eneral, and of all the bureaus necessary for the lull organization and
equip iTioTit. <if a largo nrrny. These steps were taken as necessary under the ordinance di-
recting tli(% forces of Virginia to be called out for the defence of the state from invasion.
The whole nrir.y of Virginia was to be organized and equipped, and it was supposed would
be turned over to the confederate authoritii!S after the organization. It will be needless for
me hero to recapitulate, further than to state that the result was, that by proclamation of
your e.vcellency of June l3t>J the whole force was turned over to the confederate au-

thorities by regiments, and its organization entrusted to the confederate government.

Then, th«' major general, the surgeon general, and all other officers who had been com-
missioned under state authority, and who were not included in the organization of the regi-
ments, of course were no longer considered in office. They have all, with but few excep-
tions, deceived commissions under the confederate service. The organizations under the
ordinances of the convention being no longer necessary, have been considered and treated
as obsolete. When the state line was instituted, a!l officers considered necessary were pro-
vided by the act. A full .quartermaster's staff was directed to be commissioned. Why is
it necessary to provide a quartermaster's staff under the ordinance of the convention, when
no other department is to be added to ? There is no deficiency in the bill in making provi-
sion for this department. Under the same ordinance, if it be not obsolete, your excellency
might proceed to cnnuni.ssioii all the t)ther officers provided for therein.

The terms of the ordinance of the 30th April 1H68 show that even if these quartermasters
have been commissioned under that ordinance, they are still amenable to my orders. In
defining the duties of the quartermaster in tlit distribution of supplies, they are spoken of
as duties "in addition tn his <iiitie.s in the field." Does not this language utterly confute
the idea that there can be a (luartermaster independent of the orders of the commanding
peueral ? If in the field, hi; is under the general commanding in the field. I quote this
language to show that sucl) wa.*! the expressed intent of the convention. Without it, the
case would be no less clear. Every officer connected with the army is under the command
of the general; not because lie is so declared to be, hut from the mere fact that he is a part
of the army.

But in all the view.* presenit •! l»y your excellency, you seem to be under a uiistake as to
the facts. By reference tn the liooks in the offiw of the adjutant general, it will be seen
that both C'apt. Goodloe .muu Maj. Suioot have been commissioned in'thc state line, and not
qnder the ordinance al'oresaid. On the '.Mth December I80"i, after all the frausa(;tious had
transpired which were the subject of this difference of opinion, Maj. Smoot was commis-
sioned a colonel. Of this appointment I received no notice Upon what ground the adju-
tant genejiil telegraphed to uu; that Capt. Goodloe was ' incidentally only connected with
my command," when the evidence to prove his absolute ;;*»nnectiou with my command was
in his office, is for him to explain 1 trust that your exce.ilency will give this subject your
immediate attention, as I am anxious, as soon as the cruumand can be put in C/Ondition, to
make a move upon the enemy.

k With the highest regard,

I am your excellency'-^ ob't serv't,

Maj. Gen. Cotnefg Va. State Line.
Sis ExceUency John Letcher, _

Governor of yirginia

Doc. No. 45. 145

Adjutant Gekkkai.'s Office,
January 27, \ti6'i.


I report, upon the letter of 24th instjiut, addrcsseLl !o you by Miij. (Jon. John
B. Floyd, referred to nic this mornin{r, that Maj. li. R. Snioot was appoiutod to Ui>' chhvge
of tlie quartermaster general's department at Lynchburg, not as a quartermaster iti fhofuild,
on the 23d June 1862, and <vas authorized to send an assistant. quartorniaster to Wytliovilh-,
to attend to sueh niatt<rs there as might be necessary for Gen. Floyd's ariiiy : that Cap*. J.
B. Goodloo was subsequently appointed that assistant, and placed in cha .go of (lie distri-
bliting depot at Wytheville. In n letter of instruetiuns addressed by the aeurelary of the
commonwealth to Maj. Smoot, by your order, July 4fh, 1862, it is slated "that arniy (Gfeh.
Floy I's), under the law, can only be organized by companies, and then when ton conipanieiB
arc raised, by regiments. As there can be no regimental qunrt^-nnnsfcrs until the r<;ginicnt8
are formed, the proper course will be for the captains or conunandants of companies to pro-
vide for the troops under their command, and send in their a<'corilits to the assistant quar-
termaster a|>pointed by you (Maj. Smoot), properly certifi "d and approved by G.n. Floyd,
or to make requisitions upcn the quartermaster's depavlimiit for suppliis that may be tK"-
eessary, and to be supplied by that departuuuit."

Capt. Goodloe continued to act a.", iissistant (luartcrmasfcr in charge at Wythevflle, until
early in December last, when you uere informed by letter from Maj. Smoot that he hud
been ordered by G<'n. Floyd to give up his charge at Wytlii'viile. and go himself to Taze-
well courthouse — Maj. Smoot adding that the most dclet(nious consequences would restilt
from this change of an experienced officer, familiar with all the details of thf department at
Wyth(!ville, and with many contracts for supplies, for one who was wholly unacquainted
with them. Nothing had been heard from Gen. Floyd with respect to his proposed transfer
of Capt. Goodloc. nor was it kiu)wn hen>, when" he was at the time.

Upon receipt of Maj. Smoot's letter, I was instructed by you to issue the order of the 8tb
Decen)ber last (quoted by Gen. Floyd), which simply explains the material fact, that hh
Capt Goodloc belonged to the quartermaster general's department, he was not subject to be
transferred, as ordered by Gen. Floyd. A copy of this order was Uansmitted by mail to the
address of G(rn. Floyd, to care of the officer commanding post at Wytheville, to which all
c.omnumicatious from this office to the general had been for some time directed.* A copy
was also sent to Maj. Smoot at J^ynchburg, with instructions to inform Gen. Floyd, if he
should have an opportunity of communicating with him. In all this there was no discour-
tesy tovv-ards Gen. Floyd — certainly none was intended — and it does not warrant Iiis as-
sumption that any order giv(;n by him to any quartermaster, however vital to the service, ift
liable to be countermanded by the a<ljutunt general, without its being thought worth while
to give him (he slightest notic<" of it.

But the general, pursuing his assumption that T have issued an order without 3onr au-
thority, which prevented his transfer of a subordinate officer of the quartermaat(.T gen<'rar*
dejiavtnient, and replacing that officer by one of his own selection, and that by n>asoQ of
this uuauthorized act of mine (for that is the unmistakable construction) a los.^ was sus-
tained by the state in the dispersion, &.c. of beef cattle which had been purchasod by hibi

Online LibraryVirginia. General Assembly. House of DelegatesDoc [serial] → online text (page 62 of 64)