will like the looks of them. I sent with the regiment forty-five horses and harnesses, costing about $100 each. My impression is that the horses are very good ones and that they have been purchased at reasonable prices. More can be furnished, with or without wagons, with the next regiment if desired. The Fourth Regiment will be ready to move in a week if it goes without horses and wagons, and in a week from Monday if with. The Fifth and Sixth Regiments are under instruction and will be concentrated in a few days near Portland, where grounds will be secured for a camp of instructions. I will than you to inform me whether you think there is any prospect of their being called for soon.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, yours,
ISRAEL WASHBURN, JR.,
Harrisburg, Pa., June 5, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON,
Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: I would respectfully call your attention to the conversation which I had with you on the 21st of May in reference to a grant of arms to this Commonwealth by the United States Government. You are aware that the State of Pennsylvania has already raised on her own account fifteen regiments of volunteers to serve for three years. It is intended that this force shall go into camp immediately, to receive military instruction, and to be ready to respond to a call for their services at any time from the President of the United States. These troops are now being fully uniformed and equipped in the best manner and have at their head Major General George A. McCall, one of the first military men of the country, which fact will be an additional guaranty of their efficiency, either in protecting the southern boundary of this State or in making an aggressive movement on hostile neighbors. The difficulty under which the State labors is the want of suitable military arms to place in the possession of its soldiers. By an inquiry at the Ordnance Office I learned from Colonel Ripley that the department has on hand a large number of altered muskets which would suit the purposes of our military. This gentleman fully concurred in the propriety of having the public arms applied to the wants of this Commonwealth under existing circumstances. An order for 10,000 muskets or rifles, or a proportion of both, either of the new or old style, will enable this department to supply the wants of the volunteers of this Commonwealth, who will form, when armed, a reserve force which may be of the highest importance in the military operations of the Government.
Hoping to have a favorable reply to the foregoing request, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. M. BIDDLE,
Washington City, June 5, 1861.
Saint Johnsburg, Vt.:
The two additional regiments of three-years' troops, or during the war, are accepted by this Department.
Secretary of War.