Washington, June 13, 1861.
Hons. EDWARD EVERETT, JOEL PARKER, E. R. HOAR,
Committee of Citizens of Boston:
GENTLEMEN: Your letter [of May 22], addressed to the President of the United States, relative to the situation of the loyal citizens of East Tennessee and the measures that should be taken for their protection, has just been referred by him to his Department for answer. I shall be glad to co-operate with you, gentlemen, in furnishing all the aid in my power to those citizens of East Tennessee "who are disposed to sustain the Government of the United States in the present crisis." I appreciate fully the critical position in which they are placed and their pressing need of assistance, and being urgently desirous of contributing to their relief in any way that may be precticable, will be happy to communicate or confer with you, gentlemen, or with Senator Johnson in conjunction with you, as to the proper measures to be taken to carry out the truly worthy and patriotic object which your committee was appointed to promote. The most practical way, it seems to me, in which this Department can promote the purpose of your committee is to furnish the arms that may be needed, and if the Union men of East Tennessee are willing to be supplied in that way with the arms they need for their protection, and if reliable persons be designated to receive and forward them safely to their proper destination, this Department will very cheerfully furnish them.
With sentiments of the highest regard, I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,
Secretary of War.
Washington, June 14, 1861.
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
DEAR SIR: The inclosed documents are respectfully referred to the Secretary of the Navy, with a request that the recommendations of the Lieutenant-General may be carried out. It is understood that a commander of the Navy is already on such duty upon the Ohio and Mississippi. The attention which he has already given this subject no doubt has prepared him to act efficiently in this matter. Some of the principal river steam-boat constructors West should be consulted, as suggested by Mr. Lenthall, in order to make their experience available. Rifled 42-pounders, from their range and accuracy and the moral effect they produce, should form a part of the armament of each gunboat. The Ordnance Department of the Army is now engaged in rifling the 42-pounders on hand. That Department will be instructed to prepare a sufficient number to supply each of the sixteen gun-boats required by the Lieutenant-General with not less than two such guns and a sufficient supply of ammunition. The other guns, it is supposed, may be properly supplied by the Navy, though the War Department will undertake this part of the work if it be desired. The Chief of the Ordnance Department will examine these papers, take copies, and hand the originals to the Secretary of the Navy.
Secretary of War.