Third. Colonel Diminc, at Monroe, is greatly in want of a small armed steamer to protect parties from the fort sent out for water, &c. We decided last evening to dispatch one, the cot to be $100 per day. Can we pay the expense of arming; and, if so, on the requisition of what officer?
Fourth. A depot of coal is indispensable near Fort Monroe to supply our steamers on service in that quarter. We sent last evening to new Bedford, through Mr. Aspinwall, to ascertain if we could purchase one or two old whaling ships at a moderate cost, to be anchored under the guns of Fort Monroe, so that the steamers could run alongside and coal. Can this expenditure be met, and if so, on whose requisition?
Fifth. The Union Defense Committee have paid out over $100,000 in sending off troops for the defense of the city of Washington. Can the sums thus expended be repaid, and if so, on what requisition?
We make these inquires because we understand the necessity of acting, if possible, within the restrictions of the law. Our duties would be much simplified if the funds instructed to us could be paid out on requisitions from U. S. disbursing officers, approved by the army officer in charge of the district and the naval commandant at Brooklyn, so that all expenditures should be authorized and payments made by them. We understand that the capital is safe, and that no extraordinary responsibility need be assumed till we hear from you.
We are, very respectfully, your obedient servants,
JOHN A. DIX.
R. M. BLATCHFORD.
Washington, April 30, 1861.
Honorable JOSHUA R. GIDDINGS,
Consul-General of the United States to the British North American Provinces:
DEAR SIR: Yours of the 22nd instant, communicating to this Department that Harrison Stephens, esq., of Montreal, is willing to open recruiting quarters at Rouse's Point and raise a regiment of troops for our Government, is received. You will do me the favor to communicate to Mr. Stephens the high appreciation entertained by this Department of the kind and generous motives and sentiments which prompted his liberal offer; but be pleased at the same time to assure him that this Government relies confidently not only upon its great material resources, but also on the loyalty and devotion of a large majority of its people, to suppress the present attempt to overthrown the Republic. Our own citizen soldierly are rushing tho arms in such vast numbers, and importuning the Government to accept their services in defense of the Constitution and laws, that it is obliged to decline the services of many more of them than it can accept. Under these circumstances it will not be difficult to convince Mr. Stephens that it is not from any want of confidence in his capacity as a soldier, nor lack of appreciation of the noble and generous impulse that prompted the offer, that I am compelled, on behalf of my Government, most respectfully to decline its acceptance.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of War.