HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
WASHINGTON, D. C., Oct. 31, 1861.
The Hon. S. Cameron, Secretary of War:
SIR: For more than three years I have been unable, from a hurt, to mount a horse or walk more than a few paces at a time, and that with much pain. Other and new infirmities, dropsy and vertigo, admonish me that a repose of mind and body, with the appliances of surgery and medicine, are necessary to add a little more to a life already protracted much beyond the usual span of man.
It is under such circumstances made doubly painful by the unnatural and unjust rebellion now raging in the Southern States of our so late prosperous and happy Union, that I am compelled to request that my name be placed on the list of army officers retired from active service.
As this request is founded on an absolute right granted by a recent act of Congress, I am entirely at liberty to say that it is with deep regret that I withdraw myself, in these momentous times, from the orders of a President who has treated me with distinguished kindness and courtesy — whom I know, upon much personal intercourse, to be patriotic without sectional partialities or prejudices, to be highly conscientious in the performance of every duty, and of unrivalled activity and perseverance.
And to you, Mr. Secretary, whom I now officially address for the last time, I beg to acknowledge my many obligations for the uniform high consideration I have received at your hands, and have the honor to remain, sir,
With high respect, your obedient servant,