War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0161 Chapter LXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

Mr. Larz Anderson, of Cincinnati. The "Kentucky" brigade alluded to therein is described truly. They are not Kentuckians, but an organization gotten up in order that its officers might be mustered into the service, to secure which they assumed that title. To send these men to Louisville will do the Union cause a most serious injury, for their character is perfectly well known throughout Kentucky and our elections are at hand. May I ask you to have this order reconsidered? Let us have our own way a little longer, and I promise to hold the State true to her allegiance. As Mr. Anderson says, and as I have assured both you and the President, plenty of loyal bona fide Kentuckians canbe enrolled, and the reason why that step has been delayed is, the Union Committee think it would be better to await the elections of the 20th of June. It is the wish of the Union Committee in Kentucky that Colonel Anderson shall be placed in command in Kentucky, but they do not desire his presence in the State at this juncture of affairs, and the colonel has remained in Cincinnati at their request after numerous conference with them on the subject. So soon as I arrive in Kentucky - and I leave here to-morrow - I shall undertake the formation of two brigades, and I shall be able in a very short time to report, for the information of the President, the progress of the movement.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

W. NELSON,

Lieutenant, U. S. Navy.

[Indorsement.]

The suggestions within made are approved. Let directions be given accordingly.

A. LINCOLN.

[Iclosure.]

CINCINNATI, May 5, 1861.

MY DEAR NELSON: After visiting Frankfort, as I did on Friday last, I did not go on to Washington at once, as I thought of doing when you left us, because upon consultation with our friends Davis, Harlan, Crittenden, &c., it was thought that a letter from Harlan on the subject, expressing the views and wishes of those present, would be sufficient. It was the unaninimous opinion there among the true Union men that it was not advisable at the present juncture that my brother should take command in Kentucky, and that as he was not sufficiently recruited in health at any rate to udertake that or any other service, it was best on all accounts - the approaching elections and the use which would be made of his position there in a military capacity - that things should remain as they are until he was able to enter upon the duties of his command after a rest of some weeks in the mountains or on the lakes. This seemed to me to be wise policy, and I came home hoping that it would be carried out. Yesterday affairs presented another and more dangerous complication. An order has been issued by the War Department that one of the regiments at Camp Clay, miscalled the Kentucky brigade, was to report for service to Colonel Anderson in Louisville as soon as it was armed and equipped. Now you know how this "Kentucky" brigade was got up and how it is officered and how it is looked uponn both here and in Kentucky. Scarcely an officer and but few of the men are Kentuckians or even residents, for any length of time, of

11 R R-VOL LII, PT I.