War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0139 Chapter LXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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power in that State that would more than countervail all the machinations of Breckinridge, Magoffin, and their myrmidons. There might still be some disorder in the extreme southwestern part of the State, but nowhere beside. North Kentucky, Western Virginia, and Northern Maryland are strongly true to the Union, and the Administration at Washington, no doubt, will give them all the support it can, and promptly. Will you pardon the presumption of this letter; but deep and sincere sympathy with the Administration, and desire that its efforts for the extrication of the country and Government from the unparalleled perils with which they are beset is my only apology. If you should have time and inclination to address me a note, let it be directed to me at Paris, Ky., without any official marks about it.

Your obedient servant,



SPRINGFIELD, ILL., May 6, 1861.

Honorable S. CAMERON,

Secretary of War:

Cairo is threatened. What sized guns have you sent? When will the battery arrive? Guns of equal range to any which can be brought against us wanted immediately.




WASHINGTON, May 6, 1861.


Secretary of State:

SIR: I return the letters of Honorable Judge Marvin, 19th of April; Lieutenant James St. C. Morton, Engineers, 21st of April; Captain E. B. Hunt, Engineers, 23rd of April, all from Key West, and all relating to the embarkation on the steamer Atlantic, by order of Colonel Harvey Brown, commanding the Military Department of Florida, of twenty negroes, hired to the Government by inhabitants of Florida. These gentlemen all take nearly the same view of this act or order of Colonel Brown; style it ill-timed and injudicious impressment, unwise and inconsiderate, &c. They think that it will be misrepresented, and Judge Marvin thinks that it may be considered as forcing negro slaves to make war upon the whites, &c. You request my explanation upon the subject. I must premise that it is no part of a soldier's duty to criticise the orders and policy of his commander, as has been done by Captain Hunt and Lieutenant Morton, and that I have no right to attempt to assign the reasons which may or may not have influenced Colonel Brown in giving the order thus criticised. I have no objection, however, to furnish the State Department with my views upon the subject, which are the result of some knowledge of the situation of these slaves. They are the property of Floridians, and have by their masters been hired, some of them for many years, and at very remunerative prices, to the United States to work upon fortifications. The particular negroes with Colonel Brown were employed at Tortugas. They were skillful with oar and rope, patient of heat and of wet, willing and efficient laborers. They were employed on board the Atlantic in assisting the sailors to land stores, and when she was discharged were transferred to the Illinois