Augusta, August 13, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I have to-day had an interview with a large proportion of the officers of the First Regiment Maine Volunteers. They desire to return to the service, and will re-enlist for three years, or during the war, provided their companies can be supplied with rifles or rifled muskets. They had before the Springfield rifled musket, an excellent arm, and would like the same now, but insist on some kind of a rifle. They say that you assured them that if they would re-enlist and return to the service they should have the rifled muskets or rifles. It is supposed that by the time they can reach Washington or their Southern rendezvous it would be the 20th to the 30th of September, and that the Government will have by that time enough of the Springfield or other rifles to secure a supply to them without doubt. I fear that I shall not be able to supply them with such arms from the State, and their return to the service may therefore depend upon the answer you can make to this letter. The regiment is an admirably drilled one, and I trust you will regard its continuance in the service as sufficiently important to justify a compliance with their request.
One thing more: In order to secure the bounty offered to re- enlisting soldiers, will it be necessary that the companies preserve their original organization and that the soldiers add to it an agreement to serve three years or during the war? or, rather, will such re-enlistment be sufficient to entitle the soldiers to the bounty, or will new enlistments for three years from the date thereof, and to be in addition to the three-months' service already rendered, be necessary? As I wish to take steps to fit out this regiment at the earliest moment, I will be exceedingly obliged to you for answers to these questions at your earliest convenience.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
ISRAEL WASHBURN, JR.
ORDNANCE OFFICE, August 22, 1861.
Answered as regards arms. Respectfully referred to the Adjutant- General as regards re-enlistments.
JAS. W. RIPLEY,
August 27, 1861.
Respectfully returned to the Honorable Secretary of War. There is no bounty allowed for re-enlisting in volunteer service. The bounty is $ 100 at discharge for two or three years' service. The regiment herein mentioned must be reorganized in accordance with General Orders, 15 and 25, independent of any former organization.
JACKSON, MICH., August 13, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON,
Secretary of War:
The First Regiment is reorganized, and will be ready for mustering orders as soon as the remainder of the uniforms arrive. Three more