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Monday, 14th December, 1846.
After night Mr. Boyd of Kentucky, Mr. Cobb of Georgia, Mr. Douglas of Illinois, and Mr. Stanton of Tennessee, all members of the House of Representatives, called. They had been invited by my private secretary at my request to call. I explained to them my embarrassment in conducting the war with the present officers, and consulted them as to the propriety of passing a law authorizing the appointment of a Lieutenant-General to command the army. I explained to them the objections to General Taylor and General Scott, and the impossibility of conducting the war successfully when the General-in-chief of the army did not sympathize with the government, and cooperate with it in the prosecution of the war. This they fully appreciated, but were unanimously of opinion that it would be impossible to pass a law through Congress to authorize the appointment of a Lieutenant-General who should supersede Generals Taylor and Scott. I urged them to pass a law promptly appropriating the two millions of dollars for which I had asked in my message; and also a law as recommended by the Secretary of War to raise 10,000 men to serve during the war with Mexico. To these measures they agreed, and promised to have these measures brought up in Congress without delay. General Cass met me on my walk this afternoon and returned with me to my office. I consulted with him as to the appointment of a Lieutenant-General of the army. He was agreed to it, but thought it could not pass Congress.
- James Polk