persons that the State should raise a force and keep it permanently in the field for her defense. A part from other considerations it is to be observed that the expenses of such a measure would be quite beyond the present ability of the State.
To raise and maintain an army of fifteen regiments would involve an annual expenditure of more than $15,000,000, and any smaller force would be inadequate. That plan which I have above proposed would, I think, give the State efficient protection, and if the Legislature should think fit to adopt it the expense can be readily provided for by law or otherwise. Having an organized force under the control of the authorities of the State, and mustered into the service for domestic protection, we would not, as heretofore, lose time in arranging for transportation and supplies with the National Government when it became necessary to call it into the field. When thoroughly organized it should be in all its appointments an army which could be increased by drafts made from our enrolled and classified citizens.
The plan which I have above suggested is there assault of reflection and experience which I have had during the last three years, and I hae felt it to be my duty to submit it for your consideration for the purpose of providing for the effectual defense of the State. I, of course, cannot doubt your approval. If the Legislature should prefer the adoption of any other plan more efficient and economical than the one which I have herein proposed it will give me pleasure to co-operate heartily in carrying it into effect.
In accordance with the act of May 4, 1864, I have appointed for the eastern armies Colonel F. Jordan as a gent at Washington, and Lieutenant Colonel James Gilliand as assistant agent at that place, and also for the south-western armies Lieutenant Colonel James Chamberlain as agent at Nashville. These agents are now actively engaged in the performance of their duties, and it is desirable that our people should be aware that a part of them consists in the gratuitous collection of all claims by Pennsylvania volunteers or their legal representatives on the State and National Governments. Volunteers having claims on either of these governments can have them collected through these agents without expense, and thus be rescued from the extortions to which it is feared they have sometime heretofore been subjected.
Having received information from the agents of the State that our sick and wounded were suffering greatly from the want of comforts, and even necessaries, I have been recently compelled to call on the people to contribute supplies, mainly in kind, for their relief, and it gives me pleasure to say that this appall has been cheerfully responded to, as have been all my former appeals to the same end. It seems impossible to exhaust the liberality of our generous people when the well-being of our brave volunteers is in question.
In my special message of the 30th of april last I stated the circumstances attending the advance by banks and other corporations of funds for the payment of the militia called out in 1863; in consequence the Legislature passed the act of May 4, 1864, authorizing a loan, for the purpose of refunding, with interest, the amount thus advance din case Congress should fail to make the necessary appropriation at it then current session. I regret to say that Congress adjourned without making such appropriation.
The balance in the treasury being found sufficient to reimburse the funds so advanced, without unduly diminishing the sinking fund, I have deemed it advisable not to advertise for proposals for the loan, and I recommend the passage of an act directing the payment to be made out of the moneys in the treasury.