War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0734 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

they will be exposed to being crushed or marred possibly to such an extent as to interfere with their free passage into the barrel, and whether they will be safe for transportation with the fulminate in the cartridge; also, what will be the effect on the spiral spring of long use and exposure in the field. I do not discover any important advantage of these arms over several other breech-loaders, as the rapidity fire with these latter is sufficiently great for useful purposes without the objection to increase weight from the charges in the arm itself, while the multiplication of arms and ammunition of different kinds and patterns, and working on different principles, is decidedly objectionable, and should, in my opinion, be stopped by the refusal to introduce any more unless upon the most full and complete evidence of their great superiority. In view of the foregoing, of the very high prices asked for these arms, and of the fact that the Government is already pledged on orders and contracts for nearly 73,000 breach-loading rifles and carbines, to the amount f $2,250,000, I do not consider it advisable to entertain either of the propositions for purchasing these arms.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. W. RIPLEY,

Brigadier-General.

DETROIT, December 9, 1861.

General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: On the 21st of November I alluded to the fact that the Lancer regiment was being recruited in Canada, and that in transportation said recruits on railroads in Canada the facts were disguised and concealed by giving certificates that said recruits were transported an equal distance over the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad. These railroads are owned by the same company. Lieutenant-Colonel Tillman is the author of this dangerous experiment, and in my opinion has willfully endangered the peace of the United State and Great Britain. I report these facts that they may receive such attention as the Government may deem proper to bestow upon them, at a time when it is presumed the Government does not desire to give Her Britannic Majesty a just cause of complaint. Lieutenant-Colonel Minty was my first authority. Mr. Muir, the auditor of the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad, says he holds the checks alluded to, signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Tillman. Colonel Rankin was absent in Washington. I beg leave to request a moment's attention to my letter of November 22 about railroad passes. They are manufactured and altered and sold to the highest bidder. I have checked all passes in this State until I can adopt some system which will check this bare-faced swindling.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. BACKUS,

Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Mustering Officer.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

December 9, 1861.

Honorable A. G. CURTIN,

Governor of Pennsylvania:

We understand General James has 2,500 men in camp, with four organizations. By consolidating the two smallest, three regiments,