21111(?) North Charles St.
Balt. Febry 2d 1862
My dear Jim,
After keeping quiet at Willards for two weeks, the inflammation in my leg subsided and I improved the opportunity of two fine days to call first upon the Secry and next upon John Forney.
Mr. Welles admitted four points: that my standing is good, that the fact of some promotions having been made, rendered the case of other not promoted rather awkward for them; that the fact of there being some reserved officers unworthy of promotion, should not weight down the claims of the worthy; and that although greater matters pressed upon the attention of the Dept, such pressure did not lessen the importance of such a case as mine, to the person concerned.
As I brought up these items, he met them almost by anticipation, and seemed to comprehend my situation exactly.
Finally I asked him if he could give me a definite answer as to what I might expect. He replied, ³that he could not, that the whole subject of promotion of reserve officers would be taken up for consideration, and my case with rest!²
Fox was not committal!
With other personal matter to think of. I have not much faith in Mr. Welles making much progress in his proposed action, as above: and fear ³my case & the rest² will linger long before any thing is done.
Commodore Smith advised me to go and see the President and ask him to nominate me, as if he also had not much reliance upon any action on the part of Mr. Welles. I told the Comm. I thought I had better wait and , if necessary go to the Pres as a last resource.
Mr. Watkins, the ³legal advisor² reported ³no legal obstacles in the way of my promotion!²
Thus stands the matter at the Dept. Next day, I managed to get up to the Senate rooms & found the Secry. in his fine quarters told him, I had come to thank him in person for his kind & friendly aid (having previously done so by letter) and what had passed at the Dept. as to Mr. Welles being a man not to be relied on for an energetic attention to matters broıt to his notice. Forney said the trouble was that Mr. Welles was – what I hear you call him – and that he would write to Fox. He brought Mr. Grimes of the Naval Committee to see me, who hearing what I had to say (briefly) told me if the nomination was made there would probably be no difficulty as to it confirmation.
Thru Mr. McKnight, has shone & has introduced to Mr. Cowan, and gave him a memorandum for me; he promised attention, when nomination came up.
Mr. Stanton said he would speak to Mr. Welles and ³Made a note of it²!
There rests my case – Forney agreed with me that I could not do much if any good my remaining at Washington, and that I had best attend to getting my leg cured.
I see Mr. [David] Wilmot has returned to Washgn – Can you ask him, to interest himself for me? He boards at Willards, and personally speaking could call at the Navy Dept. without inconvenience: but whether it would suit his relations politically to do so is another question.
It would be of material aid and comfort to me to have the Senator from East Penna acquainted with my position, and if possible requesting the attention of the Secy thereto! Of the value of such intervention there can be no doubt and as my future is depending entirely on my promotion – I am loathe to loose any influence that may be attainable.
If you feel at liberty to write to Mr. Wilmot and will do so, I shall be further obliged to you and enclose a copy of the paper I sent to the Dept that you may, if you think proper, forward it to him, as the easiest & briefest means of putting him in possession of the case.
As Dr. Smith agreed with the Navy surgeons, in opinion, and sees no reason why I canıt be cured if my general health will hold out – I have put myself in his hands, and shall remain at Jennyıs for I canıt stay here long. The Dr. expects this process of cure to be tedious, as the disease is of long standing – and thinks that he will have to resort to the application of actual Cautary – to which of course I have appealed to anything else with the hope of once more regaining the use of my legs. Rebecca is in Philad and after remaining a while with her father will come here to be with me! Donıt say any thing about Cautery to her – I donıt want her to know in advance – she worries too much.
I have recıd a letter you forwarded from Lanc. I wish you would write me whether you can enlist Mr. Wilmot or not.
[written at the top of first page]
On telling Dr. Smith that I had gotten in the habit of drinking brandy or whiskey at dinner, he delighted me by saying that he approved of either, but preferred I should drink whiskey not only at dinner, but at other times – accordingly I indulge at lunch also. Your 56 J.B. I liked very much – it odors and flavor were new to me, and different from any other whiskey.