HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SUSQUEHANNA,
August 7, 1863.
COLONEL: Governor Curtin has notified me that he shall require all of the militia to be mustered out of service but seven Philadelphia regiments.
That will give three regiments to Philadelphia and elsewhere, two to Pottsville and vicinity, and two to Scranton and vicinity, or Luzerne County. I felt it to be of the utmost importance that more regiments should be held, and so represented to the Governor in very strong language, setting forth the urgent necessity that existed for their retention. He states that he has regiments offered to enforce the draft.
My impression [is] that at least twelve regiments would have served under me for the full three months.
I am, very respectfully,
D. N. COUCH,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, August 7, 1863.
Brigadier General B. S. ROBERTS,
GENERAL: Your letter of the 4th instant with its enclosures is received.* Your actions in referring applicants for military force to interfere in vigil broils at political meetings to the Governor of the State meets my views and purposes entirely. The U. S. laws specify clearly the circumstances under which U. S. troops are to be employed in putting down insurrections in the State, and the exact method to be pursued to secure their services. When U. S. laws are resisted and U. S. officers endangered in the execution of their duty the manner of employing troops is specifically set forth. The cases arising out of the conscription law are provided for in the law itself. It is desirable of all things, as I have fully explained to you, to avoid complications with the civil authorities and the people, and for this purpose to decline using the military forces of the United States except in accordance with the laws and in the manner prescribed thereby.
In relation to affairs at Dubuque and that vicinity I have only to say that you will be notified at least a week in advance of the order, so that in cause of any probable resistance impossible. Meantime no draft has yet been ordered, and it will be sufficient for you to inform Major Duncan that the military commanders are not unmindful of the condition of affairs, and that troops will be found ready when the draft is made at the points where they will be required. In such a state of public sentiment as now exists on the subject any act or display that may tend to exasperate should be carefully avoided.
In the heat of passion and under the influence of threats, either by words or by an unnecessary display of military force, men will commit acts of violence and resistance to which under ordinary circumstances and with discreet conduct they would not think of resorting.