Camp near Harrison’s Landing
Aug. 4th 1862
My Dear Stephen,
I sent you a letter this morning begging you, if possible, to prevent Serg. Terry from ousting Serg. Lull. If no commission has yet been issued, I suppose the matter can easily be arranged. If Serg. Terry’s commission has been issued & forwarded with the rest, stop it by hook or by crook if you can. Represent the matter to the Governor as strongly as you can, tell him that Serg. Lull is the highest in rank of the non-commissioned officers, that he has done more work than any of the others, that he is better fitted for promotion than anybody and that Serg. Terry is totally ignorant of Artillery Tactics, has no control over men & is entirely unfit for the promotion. If the commission has been forwarded, try to persuade the Governor to stop it; there will be time to do so.
Get him to telegraph to the Adj. General to return the commission, to send an order to me not to deliver them if I receive them, to stop it anyhow. I would not trouble myself about hurting Terry’s feelings, he can stand it and I can’t stand the idea of his cheating his comrade out of his rights. Terry is pretty sharp after his own interests & will not likely let the chance slip. I have not said a word to Lull, nor has he to me about the commission and I am only actuated by a desire to do justice to a man who has fairly earned his way to the position he now holds & is deserving of promotion. If Terry gets the commission, the injustice will be so palpable that I shall not dare to look Serg. Lull in the face. Lull is a fine fellow, well drilled, soldier-like in his bearing & actuated by a real interest in the Battery. He has a wife and children & altogether is a fine deserving fellow.
Remember that, unless Terry himself has got his commission in his hands, it can be stopped. He will be delayed at least a fortnight in the Adj. Generals office & I shall obey an order from the Governor not to deliver it. I am very anxious about this & had almost rather lose my own commission than have such a palpable injustice occur.
In the event of Terry having got a commission, I enclose a letter to the governor. Of the expediency of delivering it, I leave you to judge. At any rate, get Lull the commission if you can.
Charles A Phillips
P.S. A matter of minor importance to the relative rank of Lull & Blake, but it would not be worth while to make any extreme [steps] for this.
From the collection at the Steven Phillips Trust House, Salem, MA