HEADQUARTERS OHIO VOLUNTEERS,
Columbus, Ohio, April 23, 1861.
Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding U. S. Army:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I have been apointed by the Governor of Ohio as the major-general commanding all the Ohio troops called into the servcie of the General Government, and to report for duty accordingly. I wish to lay before you as full a statement as is now in my power of the condition of my command and its necessities. There are four full regiments at Cincinnati ready to be mustered into the service, some 3,500 men encamped near the city and about 600 at Cleveland. Large numbers are now en route hither-more than enough to complete the requisition. This State will supply 50,000 if desired. I have seen the men at Cincinnati and this city. I have never seen so find a body of men collected together. The material is superb, but has no organization or discipline. Captain Granger has probably mustered the Cleveland detachment into service to-day. Governor Dennison has telegraphed him to proceed at once to Cincinnati to muster in four regiments to-morrow. Major Burbank will commerce mustering in the troops at this place to-morrow. Of the troops at Cincinnati two regiments have been encamped four days; a third goes into camp to-morrow. The Legislature will to-mrorow authorize the Governor to accept the services of eight regiments in addition to the thirteen already called for. None of these troops have any camp equipage except 100 State tents here and about twenty in Cincinnati. We will probably be able to hut them. I may say that we have neither arms nor ammunition, for there are only some 500 muskets at Cincinnati and about 1,400 here, many of the latter being rifles (without bayonets) and altered flint-locks. We have in the State about 900 rifled muskets (new pattern). I propose using these and such of the rifles as can be provided with bayonets in arming rifle battalions. The Governor received information to-day that 10,000 percussion muskets had been ordered here from Watervliet, and that the accouterments will be sent from Pittsburg as soon as manufactured; also that 200,000 cartridges would be forwarded. We have nineteen 6-pounder guns at Cincinnati a battery of six guns (with fairly drilled cannoneers) at Marietta, and six indifferent guns here. I cannot urge too strongly the absolute necessity of our receiving at once at least 10,000 stand of arms in addition to those now ordered here, and that as many as possible of these be of the new pattern rifled musket. Cannot the Saint Louis or Dearborn Arsenal supply us? We will need the corresponding accouterments, and should have at least 5,000,000 cartridges, as I am anxious to perfect the men in target practice. The State has thus far been very unsuccessful in the purchase of arms in the East. Of camp equipage we need a full supply for 20,000 men. We require knapsacks clothing some means of transportation, &c.
I find myself, general, in the position of a commander with nothing but men-neither arms not supplies. I earnestly request that Major Fitz John Porter may be assigned to the position of adjutant-general of the Ohio troops under my command to report to me at Cincinnati or Columbus as I may happen to be; Captain John H. Dickerson as quartermaster-general; Major Marcy as paymaster; a commissary of subsistence. I also think that tit is very necessary that I should have at lest one officer of engineers, one of topographical engineers, and, if possible, two of ordnance. The State is willing to undertake the manufacture of some iron guns (field and position) for the defense of the Ohio River frontier. To carry out this project it is necessary that we should have