War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0758 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Washington, December 24, 1861.

Honorable S. CAMERON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: In reply to your inquiry of this date I have the honor to state, under orders given to Captain T. L. Casey, Corps of Engineers, at Portland, that officer is now pressing, so far as the winter season admits, operations on the fort on Hog Island Ledge. His force of stone-cutters has been increased and his expenditures enlarged. Additional machinery and materials are being provided for enlarged labors in the spring. Captain Casey has also been directed to consider the subject of outlying defenses, whereby gun-boats and other vessels may be prevented from finding cover among the islands about the city of Portland, and by which they may be kept at a safe distance from the people and buildings. He has also been called upon the examine the ground and furnish projects for defenses to prevent the city being approached by forces that might effect a landing on the neighboring coast, and he has further been instructed to devise plans for batteries to be established at the eastern end of the town whose fire may search all the water channels in rear, to the side, and in front of the town. Captain Casey has been urged to respond to these several instructions as speedily as possible. I am now engaged in preparing a communication for the Governor of the State of Maine on the subject of the defenses of the coast of the State.

I have the honor, &c.,


Brevet Brigadier-General and Colonel of Engineers.


Albany, December 24, 1861.


Secretary of War, Washington:

SIR: I have received from the Adjutant-General of the Army a copy of General Orders, Numbers 105.* While providing in paragraph I that those regiments now forming in the various States will be completed under direction of the respective Governors, unless otherwise directed, it is ordered that no more regiments, batteries, or independent companies will be raised by the Governors of States, except upon the requisition of the War Department. If this action was predicated upon the facts that no more volunteers were wanted for the service of the United States, I should not feel called upon to refer to the subject, but as paragraph II seems to imply, and as other provisions of the order apparently instify, the construction that enlistments are to be transferred to and continued under regular officers of the Army, I feel it to be my duty to express my fear that the policy thus to be introduced will prove to be unwise.

The volunteer and the regular services proceed on radically differing bases, and it is quite evident, from the inability of the officers of the Army to procure recruits, that our citizens in entering the service are prompted by a sense of obligation to defend their institutions rather than a desire to find employment. Until this State has faltered in her duty the agents elected by her people, it seems to me, can properly be permitted to act as the medium through the Government obtained


*See p. 722.