War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0431 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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The three-years' regiments have been delayed in their enlistments from many causes, but I am now in hopes to fill them up immediately. These new levies are, however, unfit to enter the field at present, as their drill is imperfect.

I am, very respectfully, yours,

WM. SPRAGUE.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington City, D. C., August 19, 1861.

Governor WILLIAM SPRAGUE,

Providence, R. I.:

What number of three-years' men could you give us now, provided we do not use the men for temporary service? The Governors generally fear that doing so would seriously interfere with regular recruiting, and we have not as yet accepted temporary forces. Would rather not use them if we can get sufficient that are enrolled for the war.

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War.

PROVIDENCE, R. I., August 19, 1861.

Honorable S. CAMERON:

I cannot send any three-years' regiments now. Many causes have operated to retard enlistments. Troops for temporary service I know are very objectionable.

WM. SPRAGUE,

Governor.

SAINT JOHNSBURY, VT., August 19, 1861.

Honorable S. CAMERON:

A requisition for troops for temporary service will retard enlistments for three years. I will use all possible dispatch in collecting and forwarding volunteers, and will inform you immediately.

ERASTUS FAIRBANKS,

Governor.

WHEELING, VA., August 19, 1861.

Honorable SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War:

The enrolled uniformed militia or home guards do not exceed 1,500 men, and they are scattered in single companies throughout Northwestern Virginia, and most of them are watching organized bands of secessionists in their respective neighborhoods. The number that could be spared even for temporary service would be inconsiderable, and from their scattered positions and the want of improved means of communication could not be got to move for several days. I do not think you can rely on this force for immediate service, and under the circumstances a requisition such as you propose would retard the enrollment of U. S. volunteers. Home guards are without improved arms and other equipments, never having received any from the General Government. The arms they have are smooth-bore muskets loaned us by Massachusetts.

F. H. PEIRPOINT,

Governor.