here as soon as we can get control of a portion of the country adjacent, compels me to request that an efficient cavalry officer may be detailed to take charge of that arm of the service.
I desire to name Colonel Horace B. Sergeant, of the First Massachusetts Cavalry, for that position, and earnestly request that he may be assigned to that duty. His regiment is now attached to General Gregg's division. If it be an objection that he is in command of a regiment, then I would request, on public and on personal grounds, that his regiments also be ordered to this department. The regiment commanded by Colonel Lowell, and numbered Second and Third of the cavalry of that State, was raised for this department. But for my personal exertions, it would not and could not have been organized at the time it was placed in the field. The city government of Boston honored me by calling a special meeting, that I might make known to the members the necessity of a participation in the western military movements, and the importance to the country, as well to the State, that the East should at least assist in the opening of the Mississippi. They appropriated large sums of money to complete the regiments, and at once removed all questions of controversy between the State and city governments upon the subject of volunteers. The most prominent merchants of the State gave up their time, contributed large sums of money, and assisted in the personal labor of raising recruits and organizing the companies in order that there should be no unnecessary delay in its taking the field.
With the exception of the squadron raised in California, which was equipped and paid by the Boston merchants,the regiment was raised in the manner I have stated. It would have been a poetic as well as a patriotic conception if California and Massachusetts, the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, could have struck hands together with the central sons of the great west for the perpetual freedom of the Mississippi. It was in this spirit that the organization was urged, and for this purpose that it was completed.
It was no sooner placed in the field than it was ordered to a different department. The object in view, however, has been accomplished. The Mississippi is free. The east and the central West unfurled their standards together. The shouts of victory rose from the armies in commingling harmonies. It is forever to be regretted - it is a national grief - that the Pacific coast should not have been represented with the Central Valley of the Mississippi and the old States of the Atlantic in the triumph that makes an independent confederacy impossible, and places the great contest of all times in such light that all nations can now see its end. It is too late, perhaps, to do this now; but I ask, nevertheless, that regiment may be ordered to the department for which it was intended.
Failing in that, I ask urgently that Colonel Sergeant may be ordered here with his regiment. Failing in that, I respectfully request that Colonel Sergeant may be assigned to this department, to assist in organizing our cavalry. We are not pressing unduly the Government for aid, I am sure. We are helping ourselves - organizing the blacks, conscripting the whites, building steamers, and applying all material to the support of the army - but we are justly entitled to assistance. What we ask is our own. We only want that to get more. To get cavalry we must have cavalry. This is the universal law of increase.
With great respect, I am, general, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,