War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0530 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Trenton, N. J., September 21, 1861.

Honorable ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

President of the United States:

SIR: The requisition of the Federal Government under which the three-years; men are raised called upon me first for three and afterward for five regiments. In compliance therewith I have forwarded to Washington seven regiments. The eighth will be sent on next week-I hope in the early part of it.

The first four regiments constitute General Kearny's brigade. I have hoped that the remaining four would constitute another brigade, under the command of some brigadier-general selected by the military authorities at Washington. It has, however, ben represented to me that it is intended to separate our last four regiments and place them in different brigades, composed chiefly of regiments from other States. Believing that such a disposition of them would be detrimental to the public service, and impair to a considerable extent my own ability to raise more regiments if they should be called for or to recruit for those already raised, I beg leave to present to you my views on the subject. Our regiments are composed generally of good men. Much care has been taken in the selection of their officers. The men are well acquainted with each other and so are the officers. They feel a natural attachment to, dependence upon, and confidence in each other. There is no little State pride among them. They are anxious that the services they render may not be obscured by the circumstances in which they may be placed, but that they may have a fair opportunity not only to serve the country, but to do honor to themselves and the State. If they should be scattered among and comparatively swallowed up in brigades composed chiefly of troops from other and large States, they would feel as if they had lost in a degree the opportunity to gain that distinction which is one of the chief and most animating objects of a soldier. I fear it would create much disappointment at home. Certainly I shall find it much more easy to raise men if they feel they are to join Jersey brigades, and that their meritorious deeds will redound to the honor of the State, than if it is generally understood that on arriving at the seat of war they are to be used merely to swell the numbers and fight for the laurels of regiments from other States. I beg you to be assured that I have no other object than to promote the efficiency of our regiments and to protect my own opportunities for raising new ones. There is no officer in my eye whose fortunes I wish to promote by making a Jersey brigade in the hope that he may ntrary, my desire is that the proper authorities at Washington should place it under the command of the officer who would in their estimation make it most useful to the public service.

If the views thus suggested to you, with entire respect and the utmost deference for your judgment, should meet your approbation, I would be very glad to be advised that they will be carried into effect.

It is proper to advise you that I have addressed a letter to Major-General McClellan, presenting those views to him.

I am, yours, very respectfully,

CHS. S. OLDEN.

[SEPTEMBER 21, 1861.-For Morgan to Cameron, in regard to organization of troops for Sherman's expedition, purchase of horses, &c., see Series I, Vol. VI, p. 172.]