done me the honor to ask my views in regard to the measure. I regret that they must differ from your own and from the high authority of the Military Committee and the vote of the House.
The proposition in open to grave objections. It will not produce efficient troops, and will spoon break up the regiments already raised. The existing laws for organizing volunteers are better, and under them any necessary force can easily be raised in Kentucky. The special object of the force will operate against its utility. Troops whose obligations are tacitly confined to a sectional object are not apt to conform efficiently to a control whose object is national. In general terms, the force which the bill proposes to create is open to the objections on the score of efficiency and economy, which apply to all temporary levies; and, in addition, is liable to others growing out of peculiar circumstances. I should deprecate the effect of them on Kentucky herself. The war, I hope and believe, will not long remain within her borders; and while it does it is not necessary that it should have entirely the character of civil war.
There is another objection which, although founded as I believe on weighty reason, partakes perhaps too much of the nature of a sentiment to appear becomingly in an answer to your inquiry. I deprecate the plan of throwing the defense of a State upon her own people. I would see the national extending protection to every section and the people of every State uniting for the defense of the nation. The claiming of troops according to States is to my ming fraught with evils of serious magnitude, and at least it certainly does impair their tone and efficiency. The effect of the course is always harmonizing and beneficial.
I can hardly expect that any of these reasons will strike you with all the strength of my convictions, and I submit them with great apprehension, lest I may be considered to have stepped beyond the limits which your letter contemplated for me.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
D. C. BUELL,
HEADQUARTERS, Somerset, Ky., December 25, 1861.
(Received December 27, 1861.)
Brigadier General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
Commanding Division, &c., Lebanon, Ky.:
GENERAL: Nothing has occurred during the last twenty-four hours to attract attention. Everything remains as at last report in my camp, and as far as I can learn the same may be said of that of he enemy.
I shall make another effort to-morrow to draw him out for a fair fight, but with what success, I know not, but will report the result.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First Kentucky Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, December 26, 1861.
General D. C. BUELL,
Commanding Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:
I inclose you herewith an order defining the limits of my command.*
The object is that you may know its extent and to express to you a
* See p. 515.