War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0795 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, March 2, 1865-1 p. m.

Governor CURTIN,

Harrisburg:

Your letter about the organization of State troops for border defense was received on Sunday and immediately transmitted to General Sheridan, to whom it was delivered at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon. No answer has been received from him. I have forwarded a copy to General Hancock, now in command of that military division, and will communicate his answer as son as it reaches me.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, March 2, 1865-8 p. m.

Governor CURTIN,

Harrisburg:

A copy of your letter in relation to organizing troops under the act of assembly for border defense was forwarded to Major-General Hancock, now commanding the military division of which Pennsylvania is a part. His answer has just been received, and a copy of it is herewith transmitted to you. It will readily occur to you that the matter is at present not proper for publication, as it would give information to the enemy.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

WINCHESTER, VA., March 2, 1865.

(Received 4 p. m.)

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I do not know the full scope of the proposition of Governor Curtin, but with my understanding of the matter I do not think it would be expedient to enter into the organization of such a body. They could not be made effective for a long time, if at all. If matters remain as now I should feel about as strong with the force at my disposal as with the troops proposed to be organized. If a formidable advance is made toward Maryland and Pennsylvania by the enemy the proposed body would not count much in resistance. I suggest, too, that it would answer the same purpose, and call the citizens away from their pursuits less, were they organized into militia by the State, and so drilled as to be effective in some situations not requiring more mobile bodies. If they would not do well under this situation they would not be likely to do better under another of a different name similar in principle. The question of arming and subsisting the, I suppose, I am not required to discuss.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General.