CAMBRIDGE, August 29, 1861.
DEAR SIR: I have been authorized by the Secretary of War to raise a regiment of infantry for the service of the United States, to be stationed on the Eastern Shore of Maryland as a home guard, but in the beginning we find difficulty in the way of collecting the men until we have legal authority over them. We have no tents and no provisions or way to feed them. Can you devise any means whereby our men can be provisioned until they are mustered into service? We can get plenty of men to enroll themselves, but before muster day the enemy steals or persuades them away. If we could provide rendezvous and have provision for the men I think the regiment would soon be full, but without some such provision we shall be much delayed.
My friend, Hon Arthur G. Willis, who bears this note, is a thorough Union and loyal man from Caroline County, and visits you for the purpose of making some arrangements, if possible, to overcome the difficulties under which we labor. In his neighborhood he is active and is willing to do all he can in the matter. If he supplies the men with rations until they are mustered into service, can be allowed his expenses or can he have the amount detained from the allowance of the men for his use? I should address these questions, perhaps, to the Secretary of War, but so pressing is the business at that office I cannot obtain a hearing.
Hoping you may be able to serve us, I am, your, truly, &c.,
Washington City, September 2, 1861-8.56 p. m.
Colonel BERDAN, New York:
We are much in want of your regiment of sharpshooters. Send it forward immediately to Washington. Report to General McClellan for orders.
THOMAS A. SCOTT,
Assistant Secretary of War.
Washington, September 2, 1861.
His Excellency WILLIAM DENNISON,
Governor of the State of Ohio, Columbus:
SIR: You are hereby authorized to subsist the volunteer force which this Department has authorized you to raise at rates not to exceed those now paid at your several camps and places of rendezvous. The expenditures thus incurred will be provided for by the Subsistence Department upon requisitions from you as Governor of the State of Ohio. To protect this Department, and to insure payment, you will have all items of expenditures certified by proper vouchers and classified under the following heads: (1) Subsistence on the route; (2) Rations at rendezvous. Payment of requisitions will be made through the Subsistence Department by drafts upon the U. S. Treasury.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of War.
P. S.- Prisoners of war, when sent to Columbus, to be subsisted by you, as we provide for our regular soldiers.