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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
From B. R. Plumley.
HEAD QUARTERS, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
St. Louis Mo Octo 9th / 61
SIR Hearing that you were absent in New York, I have not written; indeed! the rapid course of events, here, makes them old, unless they are recorded, daily & it was useless to commit you to rereading what the Telegraph had announced.
I despatched to you the day of Fremont's rumored removal, for in thirty years of participation in popular commotions, I have never seen such desparate & deadly feeling as then existed.
The 'Head Quarters' were thronged with committees of inquiry & opposition, to his removal; great numbers of officers were preparing to resign; companies threw down their arms, or dashed them to peices. Mass meetings were extemporized and a general revolt seemed inevitable.
Had the report been true, the army would have been virtually disbanded. I am sure that Col Blair would have been killed in the street, I think that will be the end of him, sooner or later - so fearful is the hostility to him.
A few powerful and active men sustain him, and what is singular, they have been heretofore his most active enemies,--beyond these he is friendless & powerless. He cannot recruit a man, for his Regiment.
Since the publication of his charges against Fremont, the sentiment has strengthened against Blair, because some of the charges are the 'eating his own words' & others are flatly false.
I have taken them, one by one, and have sifted them without regard to Fremont or Blair. My dear friend, they are, some of them, unmixed lies.
I was, myself, the usher of several of the very men, who, it is said were excluded.
The charge of a Contract for mules to L. Haskill is without truth, but on the contrary a friend of Blairs, urged by him, is the largest buyer of horses, and he supplied such miserable stock, that the General was compelled to issue an order, that no more 'Missouri horses' should be bought.
It is so, all through. When I see you, I will give you facts & figures that are startling.
made by Ex Mayor Fillet', who is an honest man, but pig-headed, against Fox for various overcharges - was made to involve Fremont, when this same Fox is a friend of Blairs, who got him the very contracts, on which, it is said, he cheats.
I have gathered and arranged facts and dates, not for 'defence' I but for history, which I will submit to you, in person, in a few days.
Very trulyB. RUSH PLUMLEY.
P. S. I shall be able, I hope to state to you, the real money need of this Dpt. Mr. Gurley's demand is foolish. I would not go with him to Washington for he has no discretion, besides, he is meanly hostile to you.
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