|General John Fremont|
March 30, 1862.Major-General FREMONT, Wheeling:
Your telegram just received. Please indicate the line of operations you propose and what additional force you require. Your memoranda [following] left with me offered no indication of any specific plan of operations. The Adjutant-General has been directed to make out the appointments of your staff according to your own wishes. The operations around Washington since your departure from this city will render it very difficult to furnish any additional troops immediately, but no effort will be spared to supply your wants.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
Series I., Vol. 12, Part 3, Page 31.
Stanton had been placed in charge of the new "Mountain Department" of Kentucky, Tennessee, and western Virginia headquartered in Wheeling. The department, a successor to the Department of Western Virginia, had been created largely at the behest of Republicans in Congress. They were offended when Fremont, the party's presidential candidate in 1856, was removed from command in Missouri during the first year of the war. Fremont was a great explorer before the war and was highly regarded by the German immigrant population, but he was slow to move and largely ineffective as a field commander. In the Shenandoah Valley he would prove no match for Stonewall Jackson.