GENERAL: I have submitted to the President your letter of the 8th instant, requesting that you be relieved of the command of the army on the 1st of November next, as a more convenient time for making the changes in military commands which must follow your retirement from active service, than would be the date of your retirement under the law.
In signifying his approval of your request, the President directs me to express to you his earnest hope that there may be given you many years of health and happiness in which to enjoy the gratitude of your fellow-citizens, well earned by your most distinguished public services.
It will give me pleasure to comply with your wishes respecting your aides-decamp, and the necessary orders will be duly issued.
I have the honor to be, General, your obedient servant,
ROBERT T. LINCOLN, Secretary of War.
On the 27th day of October I submitted to the Secretary of War, the Hon. R. T. Lincoln, my last annual report, embracing among other valuable matters the most interesting and condensed report of Colonel O. M. Poe, A. D. C., of the "original conception, progress, and completion" of the four great transcontinental railways, which have in my judgment done more for the subjugation and civilization of the Indians than all other causes combined, and have made possible the utilization of the vast area of pasture lands and mineral regions which before were almost inaccessible, for my agency in which I feel as much pride as for my share in any of the battles in which I took part.
Promptly on the 1st of November were made the following general orders, and the command of the Army of the United States passed from me to Lieutenant-General P. H. Sheridan, with as little ceremony as would attend the succession of the lieutenant-colonel of a regiment to his colonel about to take a leave of absence:
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY WASHINGTON, November 1, 1885.