Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 03.djvu/152

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Southern Historical Society Papers

army, is a novel one. The complaint against him as President of the Confederacy was quite common, that in his appointments to the army he was too much influenced by his partiality for the officers of the old army, and especially for the graduates of West Point.

When the first dragoons was organized in 1833 (not 1832), a civilian, who had served with distinction as colonel of the regiment of "Mounted Rangers," formed for service in the Black Hawk war, was made its colonel, and all the other officers were appointed by selection, a considerable number being taken from civil life. When the second dragoons was formed in 1836, the lieutenant-colonel was taken from the pay department, and the major, and nearly, if not quite all of the company officers were taken from civil life. In the case of the eighth infantry, formed in 1838, the colonel was appointed by selection, and perhaps the most of the other officers by promotion from the other infantry regiments; and this is the sole case in the history of the United States army in which the appointments to a new regiment were made entirely from among the officers already in service. When the mounted rifles was formed in 1846, the colonel and most of the other officers were civilians, many of whom had come into service in the Mexican war as officers of volunteers.

When the two regiments of cavalry were authorized to be formed in 1855. it was with the understanding that all the field officers and one-half of the company officers should be taken from the army, while the other half of the company officers should be taken from civil life. This arrangement was probably adopted in order to propitiate the politicians, and insure the passage of the bill through Congress. The power and duty of making the appointments in fact devolved on Mr. Pierce, the then President, but he no doubt entrusted to Mr. Davis, an educated and experienced soldier, the task of making the selections from the army. How he performed that task will be seen from the following list of his appointees who bore a part in the late war:

First Cavalry.


Edwin V. Sumner, Major-General Volunteers, United States army, commanding corps in the Army of the Potomac.


Joseph E. Johnston, General Confederate States army.