Incredible Content Letter Regarding Civil War Generals: "General Joseph Hooker should have been court-martialed"... General Bernard E. Bee Jr. gives General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson his nickname at the Battle of Bull Run...General Meade at Gettysburg...General Sykes confronts General Bee's charge
Richard Irving Dodge (1827-95) Handwritten Letter Signed, "Richard I. Dodge", 4-pgs., 5 x 8, on "Headquarters Army of the United States, Washington, D.C." letterhead, June 28, 1881, by the colonel who had a long and successful career in the U.S. Army serving many years in the Western Plains, and participating in a number of the conflicts with the indigenous Indians. During the time of this letter, in 1882, he published "Our Wild Indians: Thirty Three Years Experience Among The Red Men Of The Great West", an acclaimed primary source about U.S. Army operations of the time. His, "The Plains of North America and Their Inhabitants", and four of his journals have been published, including "The Black Hills Journals of Colonel Richard Irving Dodge" which recorded a five-month, 1875 scientific expedition, of geologist Walter P. Jenney, that Col. Dodge escorted into the Black Hills of the Dakotas to determine the truth of rumors of gold started by General George Armstrong Custer the previous summer. Dodge was Aide-De-Camp to General William Tecumseh Sherman from 1881–1882. In the second publishing of his memoirs General Sherman wrote, "...Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Irving Dodge...an officer who had performed cheerfully and well a full measure of frontier service, was a capital sportsman, and of a perfect war record.
His amazing letter with incredible Civil War content, in part: "...I have just finished your book...you are very easy on Hooker [General Joseph Hooker], but not more easy than was the President & the country, at the time - He ought to have been relieved of course; at once & sent before a C. M....after he had been relieved, & just after the Battle of Gettysburg. I was invited to a dinner to be given to Hooker. When the wine and cigars had got fairly under way. Hooker said "It was a great mistake to relieve me. If I had been retained in course I would have captured Lee's whole army." "How would you have done that General"..."Why" replied Hooker, "I would have sent two corps to intercept his retreat, & after whipping him at Gettysburg or Turkey Creek, he would have had to surrender." After a little while Cameron whispered to me "What do you think of that strategy." I replied "I think the Country owes a great deal to ole Abe for reliving him, for Meade barely gained victory with - five corps. He would have been effectively beaten with only 3." I notice one error in your book on page 120. You assert that Jackson's brigade used the bayonet at Bull run. Bee [General Barnard E. Bee Jr.] did use the bayonet, but Jackson did not...Bee seeing the situation rode over to Jackson & proposed a charge with the Bayonet. Jackson refused because if they failed there were no other troops to cover the retreat - Bee went back to his comd. in a huff, took the colors in hand & riding to the front...& spoke "This battle depends on you - There stands Jackson like a stonewall & will do nothing." [Gave "Stonewall" Jackson his famous nickname at First Bull Run, where General Bee was mortally wounded July 21, 1861, and died July 22, 1861.] The enemy must be beaten & you have got to do it alone. Any man that wants to fall out can do so now. Every brave man will follow me." Of course no one fell out and a more beautiful & successful charge was never made...I was in Sykes battn.[General George Sykes] and we were hurried...to stop Bee's advance (or that of his Comd. he being dead). We soon turned them back, but were at once confronted by a steady line which stood at carry arms without firing a shot & let us pepper them at 150 yards - this was Jackson & he kept his position until he was joined by Johnston & then we had to skip - the term Stonewall was actually applied as reproach-for although Jacksons Command well earned the term afterwards by its steadiness under fire...." This historic, four page letter is in fine condition, with minor age toning and mounting remnant on right edge of last page, not affecting readability.