EXECUTIVE OFFICE, IOWA, January 25, 1861.
Honorable JOSEPH HOLT,
Secretary of War, Washington:
DEAR SIR: I wrote on yesterday to Colonel H. K. Craig, asking to anticipate now the quota of arms that will be due this State for 1862. Since mailing that letter I have thought the application should have been made to you, and now make it. I have been informed that during last year the same privilege was granted to other States, and hope it may be granted to Iowa. Will the quota of arms for 1862 be still under the apportionment and census for 1850?
I l earn that the present unfortunate condition of public affairs has rendered necessary the transfer of the U. S. troops from Fort Kearny and other points in the West to the sea-board. It is now rumored here that large bands of Indians are gathering near Fort Kearny with hostile intentions. The north western border of this State has for several years last past been subject to Indian depredations, the evidence of which is on file in your Department. Should an outbreak occur among the Indians near Fort Kearny it will probably stimulate the Indians in Dakota and Minnesota again to make inroads in the western part of this State. Owing to the small number of arms distributed to this State under the census of 1850 we are almost without arms, and all sent to this State prior to 1860 were the old regulation muskets, altered from the flint to the percussion lock.
Can an extra number of arms be in any way sent to this State, to provide against the contingencies of an Indian outbreak? They might be stored at Fort Des Moines or Fort Dodge, in the care of a person to be selected by you, and used only in case of necessity.
If a single U. S. officer were at either of these places, and had a supply of arms, he could at any moment have as many men as would be necessary for the protection of our frontier. I shall be pleased to hear from you touching these matters at your earliest convenience.
And have the honor to be,
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD.
PHILADELPHIA, January 28, 1861.
His Excellency JAMES BUCHANAN,
President of the United States:
SIR: Two regiments of volunteers infantry-the First and Second Regiments of the Washington Guards--have been organized in this city for immediate duty in defense of the Union, and have authorized and requested me to tender their services to you. Sensible of the great dangers which now threaten the permanency of our beloved Union, and fully realizing their obligations as citizens and soldiers, the officers and men of this brigade are ready at once to answer any call which Your Excellency may make up on them. They make this offer in no unfriendly or hostile spirit toward any State or section of the Confederacy, and with no desire of making an exhibition of their patriotism and devotion to the institutions of the country. On the contrary, they sincerely trust that wise counsels may yet avert the perils by which the Federal Government is surrounded. But if pacific measures fail to restore harmony among the States and a resort to force shall become necessary to maintain the Union in all its constitutional integrity and power, they are