Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 14, 1862Sigel's Resignation (Editorial)
The St. Louis correspondent of the New York Tribune writes:
"Fourteen days ago I wrote about the underhand and infamous way in which General Sigel was treated. The scandalous system has had the desired result: General Sigel has resigned.
It seems that the authorities want to keep his resignation secret. On Thursday evening a local citizen wished to telegraph the news to a friend in Cincinnati, but the message was not forwarded by the telegraph company. The gentleman tried again on Friday, but the Government censor peremptorily refused to accept the message, on order of the military authorities, though he admitted that the message was true.2
In bygone days we have had similar experiences, and by and by we will be accustomed to them. It will be remembered that immediately after Fremont's dismissal and return to this city, the Government censor suppressed all news concerning the matter. When the Pathfinder arrived here and was welcomed, more like a victor than a dismissed general, the inexorable censor deemed it unwise to publish the facts through the press.
We are losing General Sigel because he refused to be banished to a post which he could not honorably accept. The General is neither arrogant nor conceited; on the contrary, there is not another general in this department who is as modest and as unassuming as General Sigel; but when the recognition which he obviously deserves is withheld, when the troops that enlisted for the especial purpose of serving under his command are taken from him and assigned to others, and when he is placed under officers who have much less experience than he has (not to speak of ability), no one can blame him for feeling offended.
Sigel is not especially popular with some of the officers of the regular 3army. They find pleasure in belittling him, and the words and expressions which they use when speaking about him should not proceed from the mouths of gentlemen.
His chief fault and the cause for their prejudices toward him lie in the fact that he is not a native American, that he has won enviable reputation since the outbreak of the War, and that he was not educated at West Point. It would be unjust to the officers of our regular army if we did not mention that many of them (perhaps the majority) gladly acknowledge the eminence of General Sigel and do not begrudge him his reputation among the people. No doubt General Halleck is too good a soldier and too just to deny the meritorious work of Sigel. (Our readers know right well that the opposite is true.)
It would be superfluous to mention that the masses have full confidence in General Sigel; for his glorious deeds are the subject of conversation throughout the length and breadth of the land. The loyal Germans in Missouri rushed to arms immediately after the fall of Fort Sumter, while the native citizens 4spent much time discussing "armed neutrality" and kindred foolish subjects. It is only just to say that the Stars and Stripes would not be waving over one square foot of Missouri's soil, had it not been for the Germans. The Germans trust Sigel and look upon him as their representative.
The Rebels have often tried to make Sigel's masterful retreat appear ridiculous; but anyone who accompanied the Army on its march through Missouri, under the leadership of Generals Fremont and Lyon, knows from statements of the Rebels themselves that they (the Rebels) feared no general of our Army more than they did General Sigel. In the year 1849 he commanded the Revolutionary Army in Germany, and anyone who wished to know of his reputation need only ask the people who fought at that time, no matter whether they served under General Sigel or under his opponents, the Prussians.
It is reported that if his resignation is accepted General Sigel intends to return to his former position as instructor in mathematics. It is imperative that such a calamity be avoided; he must be persuaded to change his mind.5
If he is forced to resign, time will tell who is responsible for his resignation, and the guilty will have much to answer for.
I J, I G, II A 1, III D
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