War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0441 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

authorities of the United States to construe their own law, and so far as regards the law of Pennsylvania, will take the responsibility of disobeying it rather than fail in any effort that may be required to array her military force in the present emergency in such manner as the Government of the United States may point out; and the Executive, in so doing, will rely on the Legislature to ratify his acts, dictated as they are by an earnest desire to aid the Government of the United States promptly and efficiently, without stopping to discuss the legality of any form in which that aid may be demanded. But where the law is so clearly in accordance with true policy and expediency, it is hoped that the Government of the United States will adhere to it. At all events it is earnestly suggested that the double system which has been adopted can lead to nothing but continued embarrassment and confusion, and that it would be better to rely exclusively either on requisitions on the State government, or on the authority given to individuals. It is also suggested that it would be expedient to make requisitions on the State for companies and not for regiments. Under the act of Congress of 22nd of July last the President has authority to form them into regiments, and the field officers could then be appointed by the Governor, in accordance with the same act. Some of the advantages to be derived from this course are -

First. That men enlist more readily when they know that they are to enter on active service without delay.

Second. That they would have the benefit of drill by officers of the United States and in their camps, in direct contact with troops already drilled, instead of being kept in temporary camps during the time requisite for filling a whole regiment.

Third. That company officers could be examined as they come in, and the incompetent ones replaced during the same interval, and thus time be saved and the effectiveness of the troops enhanced.

There are other reasons which will readily occur to you.

With great esteem, your obedient servant,



Washington City, D. C., August 21, 1861.

Governor SPRAGUE,

Providence, R. I.:

It is not the intention of Department to order regiments for temporary service. Telegraph me whether Burnside arms have yet been made for First Regiment.


Secretary of War.

PROVIDENCE, August 21, 1861.


Secretary of War:

Numbers Ripley refused to give the order for Burnside rifles. The Government is depriving itself of the most effective arm of the service by refusing my application for 25,000. Shall I contract with the company on terms proposed to you?