on the occasion of the riots in New York in July last, I have the honor to report that, on the 14th day of July last, I received a requisition from the sheriff of Kings County, reciting that there was apprehension of imminent danger of riot in the county of Kings, and directing me, in pursuance of the law, to order out, in aid of the civil authorities in Kings County, the military forces under my command. This was the second day of the riots in New York City, and a disturbance was anticipated in Brooklyn.
In pursuance of this requisition, I called into service the only military force then in the city, viz, the Seventieth Regiment, Colonel [William J.] Cropsey commanding, directing the regiment to assemble forthwith at the State Arsenal in Brooklyn.
On the same day, I received orders from His Excellency, through the inspector-general, to post a guard at the State Arsenal in Brooklyn, and to send a regiment to New York City to report to Major-General Sandford; and I immediately issued orders to the Sixth Brigade, General [Charles A.] Hamilton, consisting of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Regiments, from Queens and Suffolk Counties, to assemble fort with, and proceed to the State Arsenal, Brooklyn, preparatory to marching to the city of New York.
On the morning of the 15th July, General Hamilton reported to me that a riot had occurred in Queens County, which made it desirable, in his judgment, and that of the civil authorities in that county, that the Fifteenth Regiment should remain there for duty; and on the same day I reported these facts to His Excellency the commander-in-chief, personally, and received his verbal orders countermanding the orders to send a regiment to the city of New York, and approving of granting permission to the Fifteenth Regiment to remain in Queens County, and of the retention of the residue of the force for the protection of Brooklyn and Kings County.
At this time the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Twenty-eighth Regiments, Fifth Brigade, General P. S. Crooke, were in the service of the United States; the Fourteenth as volunteers for the war, and the Thirteenth and Twenty-eighth, under General Crooke, in Pennsylvania. The other Brooklyn brigade, the Eleventh, General J. C. Smith, composed of the Twenty-third, Forty-seventh, Fifty-second, and Fifty-sixth Regiments, was also in the service of the United States; the Twenty-third, Fifty-second, and Fifty-sixth, under General Smith, being in Pennsylvania, and the Forty-seventh near Alexandria, Va.
At this time, also, the whole of the Seventh Brigade belonging to this division was in the service of the United States; the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Regiments being on duty at Baltimore, and the Nineteenth being organized as a volunteer regiment for nine months` service, and at or near Harper`s Ferry.
This left at my command only the Seventieth Regiment, and the Sixteenth, a portion of which reported for duty. Feeling that the force at my disposal was insufficient for the suppression of a serious disturbance in the city of Brooklyn, I called into service such members of the National Guard, in Brooklyn, as had sent substitutes with their regiments to the seat of war, and they promptly responded to the call. Captain R. V. W. Thorn, jr., Thirteenth Regiment, took command, by my direction, of a portion of these forces, assisted by Captains Washburn and Atwater, of the Twenty-third Regiment, and a similar force, composed of members of the Forty-seventh Regiment, was organized under Lieutenant [Thomas P.] Brown.