War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0898 Chapter LXII. OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST.

Search Civil War Official Records

The field officers were appointed by the President. Thus the regiment was raised during the fervor of the Union sentiment. The whole twelve companies of the regiment could then have been easily raised, but orders arrived from department headquarters limiting it to six companies. When the effort to raise the other six companies was made last year all that excitement had died out. I desire here to record my conviction, in justice to the present Governor of Oregon, the Honorable A. C. Gibbs, that I believe he has left nothing undone in his power to do to raise said companies. He always showed the utmost desire efficiently and promptly to co-operate with me in carrying out the views of the Government. The question then occurs how are we to obtain troops to replace those whose time expires? They must come from the East or be obtained by the conscription. I doubt not that troops willing to come to this coast could be easily enlisted east of the Rocky Mountains, but it would take another season to get them out here overland, unless, perchance, some of the regiments now with General Sully in the Upper Missouri should be marched here. If an order should be soon sent to General Sully such troops could reach Fort Walla Walla before winter. But I see not well how troops can be obtained except by the conscription. I have not had troops enough for the wants of this frontier. Important demands of the Indian Department cannot be carried out for the want of troops, and the fortifications at the mouth of the river will require more troops. The incursions of the Snake Indians have rendered it necessary for me to seriously diminish the garrisons of Forts Colville, Lapwai, and this place. Therefore in asking for more troops, I shall recommend the raising of more than I hertofore had in my district. I would say that we should have eight companies of cavalry and a regiment of infantry. This would make 1,600 men to be raised by conscriptin. It is highly desirable to retain the organizations and the officers of a large proportion of the companies now in the service. In this country it will be difficult to replace the officers when discharged from the service. I respectfully recommend that the major-general commanding the Department of the Pacific obtain special authority to dispense with the conditions imposed in War Department Circular, Numbers 36, of the 2nd of May last. I recommend that authority be given to me to fill up the companies of the old organizations with drafted men, retaining in the service under their old rank and commission such officers as it may be deemed advisable to retain. The thirty-fourth section of the conscription act of 3rd of March, 1863, authorizes the President to assign drafted recruits to 'such corps, regiments, or other branches of the service as the exigencies of the service may require. " I can find no legal objections to the propositions I have made for retaining the officers and organizations in the service. Herewith I inclose to you a paper* stating the dates of the expiration of he volunteer companies of my district. The time of the company at Fort Colville (Captain Glasure's, C, First Washington Territory Infantry) expieres 1st of April, 1865. Under Circular, Numbers 36, it could be detained two months before being mustered out. Troops could reach Fort Colville (500 miles from this place) next spring by the 7th of June, otherwise troops should leave here this fall for that post by the 1st of October. I should add that eight companies of the First Washington Territory Infantry in this district were raised in California. It was quite impossible to have raised that regiment in Washington Territory. In recommending the

---------------

* Omitted as unimportant.

---------------