tion to accept only twenty-eight regiments, and not thirty-eight. This Department can now accept only eleven under the second proclamation of the President, to serve for two years, or during the war.
Secretary of War.
As a singular misunderstanding seems to exist between the Government of the United States and that of the State of New York in regard to the troops to be furnished by the latter for the service of the former, permit me to call your attention to the facts upon which the government of the State has acted.
Before any requisition was made by the General Government upon the State of New York for troops, the Legislature of this State had passed the act, a copy of whereof is hereto attached, marked A,* and had also passed another act appropriating $500,000 for the purpose of procuring arms, which latter amount has already been sent to Europe for the purpose authorized by the act.
Your requisition for seventeen regiments was filled, so far as necessary, from the uniformed militia of the State, and the State government proceeded to organize the force of 30,000 men authorized by the act annexed; but as it was apparent the means provided by the Legislature, after so large a remittance for the purchase of arms, as above mentioned, would not enable the government to pay and subsist this force, and would only be sufficient to uniform, arm, and equip it, and as the constitution of our State prohibits the contraction of any debt not authorized under its provisions by law, the Board of Officers formed under the said act, on the 29th day of April last, dispatched to the seat of the General Government the attorney-general of this State, one of the said Board, to treat with the General Government as to the disposition of the force they proposed to raise. The attorney-general reported to the said Board that he had made a communication to the Secretary of War of the United States, a copy of which is hereunto annexed, marked B, bearing date the 1st instant,+ and your reply thereto, which is hereunto annexed, marked C, bearing date the 3rd instant.++
An examination of these documents will show that an explicit agreement on behalf of the United States is contained therein to receive from the State of New York, at the depots in this State, thirty-eight regiments of men, to serve for two years, unless sooner discharged, and to assume the instruction, pay, and subsistence of that force. Upon the faith of this agreement the Board of State Officers formed by said act, marked A, have accepted the services, enrolled, and formed into companies all of said force; have organized already more than half into regiments, and the remaining companies await only the necessary action of being formed into regiments and the election of regimental officers. In the mean time the State has incurred very heavy expenses in the pay and subsistence of the men to compose this force and in transportation to depots; has made contracts, now in progress of rapid fulfillment, for uniform and equipment, including tents and necessary camp equipage, for the use of thirty-eight regiments, and thus provided for the expenditure of the whole of the liberal appropriation made by its Legislature in and for the General Government.
If under these circumstances the course intended to be pursued by the General Government is truly indicated by the telegram above copied, it is apparent that the troops already raised by this State beyond twenty-eight regiments must be at once disbanded, and the large amount expended in the equipment, or contracted for, and the faith of the State pledged for the fulfillment of the contracts on her behalf,
*See p. 250.
+See p. 143.
++See p. 151.