A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents eBook

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Under these circumstances it is respectfully submitted, for the consideration of the proper authority, whether the senior captain of infantry should not be passed over and (as Brevet Major Noel,[6] the next in rank, is utterly disqualified) Captain Martin Scott, of the Fifth Infantry, promoted to the vacant majority.

It is proper to state that Captain Clark has always been regarded as a perfect gentleman, and as such, as far as I know, is equal to any officer in the Army.

I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,


[Remarks indorsed on the foregoing report by the General in Chief.]

DECEMBER 30, 1845.

This report presents grave points for consideration.  It is highly improbable that the Captain will ever be fit for the active duties of his profession.  The question, therefore, seems to be whether he shall be a pensioner on full pay as captain or as major, for he has long been, not in name, but in fact, a pensioner on full pay.  We have no half pay in the Army to relieve marching regiments of crippled and superannuated officers.  We have many such—­Colonel Maury, of the Third Infantry (superannuated), and Majors Cobb and McClintock, Fifth Infantry and Third Artillery (crippled).  Many others are fast becoming superannuated.  The three named are on indefinite leaves of absence, and so are Majors Searle and Noel, permanent cripples from wounds.  General Cass’s resolution of yesterday refers simply to age.  A half pay or retired list with half pay would be much better.  There are some twenty officers who ought at once to be placed on such list and their places filled by promotion.

Upon the whole, I think it best that Captain M. Scott should be promoted, vice Dearborn, vice Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffman.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.


[Footnote 5:  Omitted.]

[Footnote 6:  In 1839 Brevet Major Noel, Sixth Infantry, was severely wounded (serving in the Florida War at the time) by the accidental discharge of his own pistol.  He left his company February 16, 1839, and has ever since been absent from his regiment, the state of his wound and great suffering rendering him utterly incapable of performing any kind of duty whatever; nor is there any reason to hope he will ever be able to resume his duties.]


JANUARY 8, 1846.

It appearing from the within statements of the Commanding General and the Adjutant-General that the two officers proposed to be passed over are physically unable to perform the duties of major, and their inability is not temporary, I recommend that Captain Martin Scott be promoted to the vacant majority 3d January, 1846.


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