office, requesting the Secretary of War "to furnish the House all general orders issued by him or by officers of his Department in reference to the transportation of troops and munitions of war by railroad; also all orders designating the amount to be paid by the Government for the transportation of troops and munitions of war by railroad," that the Quartermaster-General has issued no general orders on this subject.
A letter was received from the War Department, dated July 12, 1861, of which a copy of herewith submitted,* establishing a tariff of prices for transportation of the troops and stores, and a direction to order all quartermasters and others engaged in providing transportation to send troops and stores by the shortest and most direct route.
To this order attention was called through the newspaper press, as it was not possible to reach in any other way all the regimental and other quartermasters moving over the country.
As occasion has served, the Quartermaster-General has called the attention of individual officers to this rule, which is one to which their ordinary duty would confine them.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
STATE OF WISCONSIN, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Madison, December 28, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: Your communication of December 23, 1861, recommending the appointment of foreign officers to regimental positions in the volunteer service, is received. All the regiments authorized to be raised by this State are already officered, but, were this not the case, our experience in the appointment of foreign officers of alleged skill and ability to command troops has not been of such a nature as to encourage us to repeat the experiment.
The appointment alluded to is that of the colonel of our Seventh Regiment, now attached to King's brigade, McDowell's division, who was recommended and appointed as an officer of remarkable ability and foreign experience in active warfare. That officer (papers in whose case were as long ago as October filed in the War Department, and referred to the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac) is now, and has been for a long time, absent from his command, through irreconcilable differences between himself and all the other officers of the regiment, but no steps have been taken to detach him permanently from the command so that really-existing vacancy may be filled. That regiment having thus suffered through the appointment to its command of a foreign officer, of whose ability and fitness to command we had reason to suppose ourselves advised, he having been for some time a resident of this State, I do not think that we can justly be expected to provide regimental positions for officers of whom we can know nothing, save their recommendations, in many cases easily obtained.
I may add that while our citizens volunteering into the U. S. service are always glad of an opportunity to serve under educated and experienced regular U. S. officers, they are very sensitive as to
*See p. 325.