indicated above, then offensive movements would be most effective on the line first indicated; but if so liberal a supply can be obtained as to enable us to dispose of 80,000 troops for the active army, then the second line of operations would be the most decisive. To enable us to carry out either of these plans it is absolutely necessary that the General Government should strain every nerve to supply the defensive we must be largely assisted. I beg to urge upon you that we are very badly supplied at present, and that a vast population eager to fight are rendered powerless by want of arms, the nation being thus deprived of their aid.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, Commanding Ohio Volunteers.
MAY 2, 1861.
As at the date of this letter General McClellan knew nothing of the intended call for two years' volunteers, he must have had the idea of composing his enormous columsn of three-months' men for operating against Nashville and Richmond-that is, of men whose term of service would expire by the time he had collected and organized them. That such was his idea appears from a prior letter, in which, although, the Ohio quota is but about 10,000 men the general speaks, I think of having 30,000 and wants arms, &c., for 80,000. Second. A march upon Richmond from the Ohio would probably insure the revolt of Western Virginia, which if left alone will soon be five out of seven for the Union. Third. The general eschews water transportation by the Ohio and Mississippi in favor of long, tedious and break-down (of men, horses, and wagons) marches. Fourgh. His plan is to subdue the seceded States by piece-meal instead of enveloping them all (nearly) at once by a cordon of posts on the Mississippi to its mouth from its junction with the Ohio, and by blockading ships of war on the sea-board. For the cordon a number of men equal to ne of the general's column would probably suffice, and the transportation of men and all supplies by water is about a fifth of the land cost, besides the immense saving in time.*
Respectfully submitted to the President.
HEADQUARTERS OHIO VOLUNTEER MILITIA,
Columbus, Ohio, April 27, 1861.
Colonel L. THOMAS.
Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:
COLONEL: I have the honor to request that Captain G. Granger, Regiment Mounted Rifles may be assigned to duty as division inspector of my division. The captain is now engaged in mustering in troops at Cincinnati, and will be available for duty in a few days. I have also to request that Lieut O. M. Poe, Topographical Engineers, now stationed at Detroit, may be assigned to duty on my staff. I hope that my request to have Major Fitz John Porter and Captain Dickerson assigned to duty with my division may be at once complied with. You will see that in organizing a force of 30,000 men it is very necessary that I
*See Scott to McClellan, May 3, p. 369.