be moved, making twenty regiments of infantry and two batteries gone and twelve nearly ready to go. Four other regiments of infantry, six of cavalry, and four companies of artillery are being enlisted in Illinois, and two other regiments of infantry in Iowa.
Although enlistments in Illinois are less tardy now than before the election, yet the probable delay that will attend the completion of the cavalry and artillery organizations has induced me to recommend to Governor Yates the consolidation of all such deficient organizations after the 20th instant, in order that such as may be completed by this process may be hastened to the field.
Passing from these details to a subject of a more prominent character, I wish to add that the avidity with which the Mississippi expedition is embraced by the people of the Northwest expose all who are charged with carrying it into effect to the consequences of popular fury if they should fail to do so. As for myself I hardly need reiterate the deep and absorbing interest I feel in the enterprise and my entire willingness to do all in my power to promote it. Yet if, from obstacles such as opposed you in the beginning or for other causes, the expedition has become an uncertainty or must be long delayed I trust you will cut my supposed connection with it and order me to other duty in the field at once. In the latter case my familiarity with the old troops of General Grant's command and the country in which he is operating would decide me, if I might be allowed a discretion, to prefer duty with him.
The blockade of the Mississippi River has left to the people of the Northwest but one outlet for their immense surplus of grains and live stock, and that by the lakes and railroads alone, to the East. These channels are closed for the greater portion of the most favorable season for moving these articles to market, leaving the producers and traders at the discretion of exclusive monopolists.
By combinations or otherwise corporations controlling these outlets have raised freights to such high rates as either to stop shipments or sacrifice traders. This evil operates most oppressively upon the energies and enterprise of the people of the Northwest on the one hand and most advantageously to capitalists in the East owning those roads and the manufacturing establishments furnishing the various fabrics required for the use of the Army and Navy on the other. The latter in a pecuniary aspect are deeply interested in continuing it.
What is seen? A comparatively insignificant obstruction has served to continue the blockade of the Mississippi River now for five months, covering a space during which the products of its valley are usually borne upon its waters to market, and the period of the investment of Vicksburg by a strong flotilla of gunboats.
In view of these facts, and the great addition which has been made to our armies under the late calls for volunteers, and the present inertness of the Mississippi Flotilla, the people so deeply interested are illy disposed to receive any excuse for further delay in removing that obstacle. Indeed, any further delay must produce consequences which will seriously complicate our national troubles by adding another geographical question to the one which is now undergoing the arbitrament of arms.
Already are there those who are beginning to look beyond the pale of Federal authority for new guarantees for the freedom of the Mississippi River. The late election, in some instances, affords unmistakable indications of this fact. Not a few of the candidates preferred to office are represented to be opposed to the war and the policy that would continue it. Nor is this altogether surprising, since the earlier inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley, at one time despairing of the Government's