PROVOST-MARSHAL'S OFFICE, SIXTH DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, Joliet, July 15, 1863.
Actg. Asst. Provost-Marshal-General, Springfield, Ill.:
DEAR SIR: From present indications we are to have serious difficultly in carrying on the draft this district, and particularly here at Joliet. It being openly avowed by the leader of hate copperhead element that such will be the case, and being aware that they are a large majority here, it seems as though there should be a preparation to meet an emergency. I have no doubt but that there will be a resistance here by mob force, from all appearances, and trust that you will furnish us with the means to make a successful resistance from the commencement. It cannot be done too soon. You are doubtless aware that a large proportion of the population of the counties of Will and La Salle are of the malignant kind of copperhead Irish, and therefore if there is a forcible manifestation it will be considerable magnitude. We are already besieged with threats from all directions, and I am somewhat fearful that they may destroy the office, together with books, papers, &c. Am I allowed the privilege of getting a guard to protect them? Can you furnish men or arms, or both, for the purpose of enforcing the draft? If you cannot do either, can you advise me whether we are to have nay or not, so that we may make the best preparation we can for ourselves? I think if we could get arms that we could find men enough to use them in case of necessity. We have been unable to even get side-arms for our guard for deserters, &c., from the fact that there is no one here who will furnish them to the Government.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Provost-Marshal, Sixth District of Illinois.
OFFICE ACTG. ASST. PROV. March General FOR ILLINOIS, Springfield, July 16, 1863.
Captain JAMES M. ALLAN,
Provost-Marshal, Fifth District, Peoria, Ill.:
CAPTAIN: Yours of 15th received. Exercise all possible care and vigilance in detecting and circumventing the hostile purposes of disloyal persons. The records of your office must be protected at all hazards. I hope that the work may be carried to a successful termination without resorting to the military arm; but the times admonish us to prepare for the worst. Keep me fully advised of the course of events. I will aid and advise you at all times to the best of my knowledge and resources. I have no available force to send you. Will report the state of affairs to the Provost- Marshal-General. Should you at any time consider your headquarters in danger from a mob or riotous violence, and the emergency too pressing to allow of delay, you would be authorized to engage or hire a sufficient number of suitable persons as temporary guard and to purchase needful weapons for their use if not will send the vouchers to the Provost-Marshal- General, as in cases of other purchases. It might be well to have an understanding with a suitable number of prudent and reliable men, to be ready to act at the moment of need.