HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp before Vicksburg, March 12, 1863.
His Excellency Governor TOD,
SIR: Your favor of March 1 is received.* Young Wallace has gone with his corps up to Milliken's Bend, where I will send him word to get the consent of some colored of an infantry regiment that he (Wallace) may be promoted in his regiment.
I feel no solicitude for men so young as Wallace, as knowledge and experience will be gained which will surely lead to his promotion and advancement in the end.
I believe you will perdon one who rarely travels out of his proper sphere to express an earnest hope that the strength of our people will not again be wasted by the organization of new regiments whilst we have in the field skeleton regiments with officers, non-commissioned, and men, who only need numbers to make a magnificied army. The President of the United States is now clothed with a power that should have been conferred just two years ago, and I feel assured he will use it. He will call for a large means of men, and they should all be privates and sent so as to make every regiment in the field equal to one thousand men. Time has convinced all reasonable men that war in theory and practice are two distinct things. Many an honest patriot, full of enthusiasm, zeal, and thirst for glory, has in practice found himself unequal to the actual requirements of war and passed to one side, leaving another to his place. And now, after two years, Ohio was in the field 126 regiments, whose officers now are qualified and the men of which would give tone and character to the new recruits. To fill these regiments will require 50,000 recruits, which are as many as use your influence against any more new regiments and consolidation of old ones, but fill up all the old ones to a full standard. Those who talk about prompt and speedy peace know not what they say.
The South to-day is more formidable and arrogant than she was two years ago, and we lose far more by having an sufficient number of men than from any other cause. We are forced to invade; we must keep that war South until they are not only ruined, exhausted, but humbled in pride and spirit.
Admitting that our armies to the front are equal to the occasion, which I know us not the case, our lines of communication are ever threatened by their dashes, for which the country, the population, and character of the enemy are all perfectly adapted. The whole male population of the South is armed against us, and we ought to outnumber them - we must outnumber them if we want to succeed, and the quicker te better.
Since the first hostile shot the people of the North have no option; they must conquer or be conquered. There can be no [middle] course. I have never been concerned about the copperhead quabblings. The South spurns and despises this class worse than we do, and would only accept their overtures to substitute them in their levies, in the cotton and corn fields, for the slaves who have escaped. I do not pretend, nor have I ever pretended, to foresee the end of all this, but I do know that we are yet far from the end of war. But I repeat that it is no longer an open question; we must fight it out.
* Not found.
5 R R - SERIES III, VOL III