From the National Archives, M437, Letters Received by the Confederate Secretary
of War, 1861-1865. Reel #87
Confederate States of
SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, Va. March 26 1863
Hon. James Seddon
Secretary of War
I respectfully call your attention to Special Order No. 65 Paragraph ___ dated
March 17/63 Adjutant and Inspector Generals Office, directing Surgeon W. A.
Carrington to resume the duties of Medical Director of the General Hospitals in
this city; as also to Par. 1 General Orders No. 23 and Par. 5 General Orders No.
28 of the respective dates of Feby 25th and March 12, 1863.
The appointment of Surg.
Carrington as Medical Director is in direct conflict with Par. 1, Orders No. 23
as he is neither Senior Surgeon in the Department of Henrico, nor has he been
appointed on recommendation from this Bureau.
Surgeon Carrington, up to the date
of Special Order No. 65 performed the duties of Medical Inspector in conformity
with order from the Head Qrs Department of Va. & N. Carolina, and during the
sickness and absence of Medical Director Gaillard, acted as Medical Director. He
has, therefore, been ordered to resume the duties of an office, which he
discharged only [page break] as a matter of convenience, during the temporary
absence of the Medical Director, and to which he had no claim, either through
seniority of commission, or special recommendation from this Bureau.
It is neither my wish nor my
intention to make any issues, upon point of military propriety, usage, or
discipline, which are not material. But respect for my own position and the
rights of my Department require that I should, in this instance, appeal to your
In no department of the service is
it of more importance, that the chief of a Bureau should be sustained, in the
exercise of a full discretion in the assignment of its officers to special
duties, than in the Medical Department; the Chief of which has, certainly, the
best opportunities of judging of the special fitness of officers, for the
several assignments the good of the service may require, and it is very clear,
those interests would be seriously compromised, by any course of Military
procedure that would undermine its rightful authority.
I have therefore the honor to
request, that Par. ___ Special Order No. 65 be revoked; and that the letter and
spirit of Par. 1 General Orders 23 be observed, in the appointment of a Medical
Director for the Department of Henrico.
I have the
honor to be
Your Obdt Servt
S. P. Moore