Letter of Resignation, Colonel Gilbert Cumming

Chicago Sept 12 - 1862

His Excellency Gov Yates

Sir. Enclosed please find my resignation with a certificate from Doctor Brainard. I sent my resignation to Gen. Paine at Tuscumbia on the first of this month, but have since learned that he left there for St. Louis before my papers reached him, and as Gen Rosecrans' army is on the march, I send it to you and respectfully ask that it may be approved by you and Adjutant Gen Fuller and sent to the Secretary of War for acceptance. You can certify to Dr. Brainard being a physician in good standing. I have struggled long & hard with my disease in hopes to be able to resume my command but finding myself no better - and being informed by Doctor Brainard that my recoery is very remote & uncertain I have no alternative but to resign. This alternative is a hard one for me and I have no heart to tell you how bitterly I feel the necessity that compels me to take this step. I can never content myself with being a useless thing while my county is struggling against this unholy rebellion, and if I ever get able to again mount a horse I shall try to re-enter the service. In the meantime if I can aid or assist you in any way I shall be very glad to do so.

I am informed that the name of Lieut Theodore F. Brown of the 51st has been sent you to be promoted to a captaincy. He has been engaged in sending false and disgraceful reports of me to the regiment & to the war department for which I shall prefer charges against him and hope he will not be promoted until these things are investigated. I am also told that the name of Lieut [Albert] Coe has been sent you to be appointed Qr Master, and that this is done to spite Mr. [Allen] Gray, the present commissary sergeant of the 51st who is not only well qualfied for Qr Master but was intended for that place when Qr Master Howland left the Regt. I am told that Lieut Coe does not want the place but would rather be with his company. I wish these appointments could be delayed until I can hear from the regiment. If Lieut Coe wants the place I have no objection to his having it, but if he does not, I think Gray ought to have it.

Please do me the favor to drop a line informing me if you can approve and forward my resignation.

Respectfully your
Obedient Servant
G W Cumming
Col 51st Ill Vol

Source: Fifty-First Illinois Infantry Administrative Files, Field and Staff, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, Illinois.

Notes: Theodore Brown was appointed captain. Coe did in fact become quartermaster. Luther Bradley, colonel commanding the regiment in the field, took umbrage that the retired Colonel Cumming in Chicago was trying to control regimental appointments, post-resignation. Allen Gray continued to serve as commissary sergeant until September 1863 when he was appointed first lieutenant of Company G (and later regimental adjutant).