Keithsburg June 1st 1861
I notice from instructions from the War Department to the Governors of the different States, a request to commission no officer of doubtful morals or patriotism, and general counsel that the higher the moral character and general intelligence of the officers so appointed the greater the efficiency of the troops &c.
My object is to call your attention to the character of the officers that have been elected in the company that went from this (Mercer) County - the two lieutenants and first orderly Sargent are all addicted to drunkenness and immorality, and are incompetent. the Captn [Benington?] I believe to be a sober man but in point of general inteligence and education he is very deficient. I think before granting commissions to them it would be well to inform yourself of the facts -
Enclosed you have a letter I received from a young man who has lived with me for a length of time, whom I can recommend, not only as inteligent and well educated but as a good chistian , and a gentleman in evry respect, and altho I am not advised that he wishes any office
in his company, I know full well he is the most suitable and competent man in the whole company and any duty that may be assigned him will be discharged faithfully, with credit to himself and honor to the State. I regret that I have no personal acquaintance with yourself but Mayor Iles of Springfield or O H Browning can tell you who I am if you think it worth your while to enquire.
Yours Very Respy
B D Ellett
B. D. Ellett -
C. O Leary