New York, December, 1862.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
Sir: Although by the strict advice of my medical advisers I am prevented from undertaking any correspondence, the subject upon which I now have the honor to address you is one involving so much that I am induced to incur a risk, in order to bring it to your notice. I have observed in published Orders No. 181 that the brevet of major for the distinguished part taken by him in the transfer of the garrison of Fort Moultrie to Sumter, South Carolina, has been conferred upon Captain John G. Foster, Engineer Corps, to date from December 26, 1860. It is proper that I should here refer to the part taken by the different officers in that move; the only part Captain Foster took in the removal was his compliance with my request in directing Lieutenants Snyder and Meade to report to me with their boats' crews to aid in the move. To Lieutenants Snyder and Meade we were greatly indebted for their active and laborious exertions in making the transfer. I regret more deeply that neither of those officers can receive the favorable notice of our Government; the former is dead, and the latter has left our service. Assistant Surgeon Crawford returned to Fort Moultrie on the 27th, and was very active in sending over some ammunition, which was of material and essential service to us during our fight; and articles which Lieutenant Hall, to whom I was greatly indebted for his activity and energy in sending off the greater part of the stores which I had been unable to take over. From this it will be seen that if the Department desires to reward any officers for this service, that Brevets should be conferred upon those just named.
In my letters to the Adjutant-General, whilst at Fort Sumter, numbered 43, 44, 45, 58, 62, 74, 54, 66, 83, 93, and 94, I make a special mention of the services of Captain Seymour, Dr. Crawford, Lieutenants Snyder and Meade; these officers, in addition to their appropriate duties, contributed in no small degree to the maintenance of our position at Fort Sumter, and whose service deserves a special mention from me. If the Government deems any brevets due, it is to these officers.
It will be seen by reference to my letters I have mentioned, I have in letter No. 83 given credit to Captain Doubleday for an important suggestion; I now take advantage of this occasion to renew the commendation thus made, and to respectfully recommend that as a measure of justice to the officers named, a brevet, to date from April 14, 1861, should be bestowed either upon those of whom a special mention is made, or, as an act of justice to all, each one of the officers under my command should alike receive a brevet; and I again implore the Department that the distinction now contemplated for one only of the officers shall not be bestowed alone, it being in my estimation neither deserved upon his part nor just to his brother officers. As this matter has become the subject of official notice, it renders it more important that I should, as soon as possible, undertake an official report of the closing scenes of the occupancy of that work, which I have been thus far prevented from complying with from the strict orders of my physician. As soon as I can write, with the assistance of my friends I will make the report.
Letter No. 54, thanks to Dr. Crawford, and to Lieutenant Snyder, and Lieutenant Meade.
SOURCE: Samuel Wylie Crawford, The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861, p. 471-2