M437, Reel 87

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From the National Archives, M437, Letters Received by the Confederate Secretary of War, 1861-1865. Reel #87

Confederate States of America,
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 supervisory control.

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
Surg. Genl