Albany, N. Y., June 14, 1861.
CHIEF OF THE ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I beg to inform you that the authorities of this State have ordered the purchase and manufacture of 20,000 Enfield rifles and muskets, some of which have been received from Englad, and with which one regiment of volunteers have already been armed. The issue of this arm will be made from time to time to the troops of this State, and as the supply of the proper kind of ammunition is important, I inquired of the commanding officer at Watervliet whether it could be fabricated by him, and he said it could not. I ought to say that the caliber of the arms already received is .57, and that 100,000 rounds have been furnished to the regiment having the arms; but to continue the preparation of this ammunition and send it forward to regiments in the field is what can hardly be expected from this State. I therefore respectfully ask whether the Ordnance Department will undertake to furnish this ammunition as it does in other cases. It is to be regretted that the caliber is .57, but that was the only arm that could be purchased ready made. Those to be fabricated will be .58, so that the ordinary ammunition can be used. An early reply by telegraph is respectfully asked.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. MEREDITH READ, JR.,
Springfield, Ill., June 16, 1861.
Honorable ABRAHAM LINCOLN:
DEAR SIR: When at Washington you were of the opinion that no more troops would be accepted from Illinois. The recent movements in Tennessee and Missouri, I am sure, will change your views on this subject. The hard fighting in this war is to be done on the Ohio and Mississippi, with the Tennesseeans and Missourians, and I think you will yet receive every man in Illinois who will volunteer for the war.
In view of the change of your programme to meet the necessities of the case, I wish to recommend the acceptance of the "Yates Phalanx," a regiment composed of hardy mechanics and substantial citizens of Chicago. The colonel of the regiment was in Washington to urge their claims some three weeks ago, but could not get access to the Departments. I hope this regiment may be accepted. Its ten companies are full (there will be no deception on this point) and ready and agger for the fight. They have made application to get into the Missouri army without success. Do, if possible, accept this regiment.
Washington, D. C., June 16, 1861.
Honorable A. W. RANDALL, Madison, Wis.:
If the Second Regiment does not get its arms before leaving, it will be supplied with them here.
Secretary of War.
18 R R-SERIES III, VOL I