among the liberty-loving people of the country that is driving them to action, and if the Government will not permit them to act for it, they will act for themselves. It is better for the Government to direct this current than to let it run wild. So far as possible we have attempted to allay this excess of spirit, but there is a moral element and a reasoning element in this uprising that cannot be met in the ordinary way. There is a conviction of great wrongs to be reduced, and that the Government is to be preserved by them. The Government must provide an outlet for this feeling or it will find one for itself. If the Government does not at once shoulder this difficulty and direct its current there will come something more than a war to put down rebellion-it will be a war between border States, which will lose sight, for the time, of the Government.
If it was absolutely certain that the 75,000 troops, first called would wipe out this rebellion in three weeks from to-day it would still be the policy of your Administration and for the best interests of the Government, in view of what ought to be the great future of this nation, to call into the field at once 300,000 men. The majesty and force of the Government, if it has either, should be manifested now, so that the world may see it. When the people see that their uprising has put down the rebellion they will be satisfied, and not before, because they understood the Government to be theirs, and that they are a part of it.
The border and Northwestern States cannot wait to see their towns and cities upon navigable streams sacked and burned and the contiguous country wasted, and then content themselves with retaliations. They should have the means of preventing disasters of the kind. These States cannot be satisfied with call after call of raw troops to be put into the field as soon as mustered, without discipline or drill. They would not be soldiers, but marks for an enemy to shoot at. We want to understand the use of arms to be efficient soldiers, either in defending ourselves or in aiding the Government. We cannot learn their use until we get them. We want authority to put more men into the field, and we want arms for the men. The soldiers must go into camp, and learn the use of weapons and the duties of soldiers. If the Government cannot at once furnish arms, the States are ready to do it, and wait upon and the Government. Unless something of this kind is done, I much fear that what we count our greatest strength will prove our most dangerous weakness. It should be determined now to what extent the Government expects aid from the States, so that the States can be preparing that aid, both in furnishing men and providing arms, and so that, when mustered into service, the army may be efficient.
If the Government authorizes the States to act efficiently in organizing military forces and in arming them, it can then better hold the control of those forces, and by distributing arms to the States,or authorizing the by the States for the use of the Government, it would have the right as well as power of ultimate direction and control, without the confusion that otherwise might arise between the States and the Government.
In Wisconsin we need arms now. Illinois has but a trifle over double the population of Wisconsin, and the call for six regiments from Illinois and but one from Wisconsin was so disproportionate as to excite extreme dissatisfaction. Companies for five regiments instead of one are drilling now without arms, and two regiments but partially armed are in camp. I have endeavored time after time to ascertain, both by messengers and letters, to what extent service would be required or proffered service received, and to what extent it was expected the States would arm, and uniform the men.