• Railway Mail Service: Ex-CSA Captain Wants Drunken Clerk Retained

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    BENJAMIN MILNER TURNER (1838-1900) was Captain of Co. C, 4th GA. He was badly wounded at Chickamauga and taken P.O.W. at Nashville.

    2pp, 8” x 10 ½”, TLS, October 31, 1888, Atlanta, GA, on Railway Mail Service, Office of Superintendent Fourth Division, to Hon. Samuel E. Dibble, Orangeburgh, SC. “Replying to yours of the 27th instant in relation to Mr. M.O. Dantzler, of the Wilmington and Jacksonville R.P.O., I beg to say, that on Monday last, I forwarded statements of Chief Clerks Davis and Brennecke, supported by the testimony of some other clerks, to the department. I can conceive of no motive why Davis or Brennecke should misrepresent Dantzler. If he was a fit clerk for the service after nine months experience, he would certainly be less trouble to the Chief Clerks and to this office than a new man who has to be taken up and instructed from the beginning. Mr. Brennecke and Mr. Davis, as well of myself, know that neither of us will be consulted in the matter of filling the vacancy caused by the retirement of Mr. Dantzler, from the service, should he be retired. I can assure you that we feel a lively sense of the responsibility which rests upon the Railway Mail Service, and I know that it is held responsible for the efficiency and conduct of the clerks by the public and press, without any regard for their being new and inexperienced and, so far as their associate railway postal clerks, Chief Clerks and myself are concerned, every reason exists why a clerk who can do the work should be retained, and I can conceive of none for a desire to get rid of a competent one and take the chances on a new one of whom we have never heard. On the other hand, Mr. Dantzler, naturally, has very strong reasons for making the best possible defense for himself because…his reputation is involved and his personal friends among the postal clerks have, I have no doubt, gone as far as they conscientiously could in their statements in his behalf, and yet only two, I believe acquit him further than to say—he was not seen by them while under the influence of liquor while on duty. I impartially considered the case from the evidence alone and I believe a just conclusion was arrived at. I do not say that Mr. Dantzler had any reason to suppose that your influence would be used to have him retained, but I do say, I believe he acts on the idea or he would not have gotten drunk and gone into the Chief Clerk’s office and told Renneker that: ‘He would be darned if he would put up another examination until after he had received his permanent appointment,’ as Renneker (not Brennecke) says he did, and he would not have absented himself without leave from August 12th to 28th, as the record shows he did. “Very respectfully, “B.M. Turner”

    Nice post war letter.

    Folds, toning, minor foxing.

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