War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0638 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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The United States are abundantly able to execute the laws, and neither need nor approve of blustering or threatening by their officers in advance of any necessity for the use of force. People in this country have the habit of exercising great latitude in their talk, sometimes no doubt to an extent prejudicial to the public good and to the peace of the country, but after all talk of resisting the laws without committing the act is generally harmless. An attempt to repress this short of reckless, thoughtless freedom of speech, even when carried to the excess of threatening to resist the laws, might, and probably would, lead to violent outbreaks which otherwise would not have occurred. Federal officers should learn to hold their tongues and do their duty without making counter threats or blustering about the use of military force, which would probably not be required if they did their duty quietly and discreetly. It is not necessary to inform the people of Iowa that troops will be used to enforce the draft nor to hold out to them any such threat in advance of execution of laws, which it is only apprehended they may resist. Such a course would lead naturally to the very resistance it is intended to prevent. It is supposed that the people of this country who are the makers of law will also obey it when they have made it, and although I desire you at points where resistance to the draft is apprehended to make proper disposition of your forces to protect the U. S. officers and secure the execution of the laws, I wish you to do so quietly and unostentatiously, simply that they may be on hand to assure quiet, which probably will not be disturbed unless rash and ill- advised counsel prevail. I have written to General Ripley in relation to the matter of arms for the Eighth Cavalry.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.



Washington, August 8, 1863.

To secure and preserve discipline provide against disaster from the elements or attack by the enemy, the senior officer in the military service of the United States present with troops upon any transport will assume command, unless he finds, on going on board, a commander already designated by proper authority.

All troops on board the transport will at the earliest moment after embarking be inspected and organized into detachments or companies. The senior officer will assign officers to each detachment or company and take all measures necessary to put his command into the best state of efficiency to meet any emergency.

This order applies to all troops on board of transports, whether on duty or furlough or in separate detachments; and the senior officer on board will be held responsible for any failure in the performance of the duties above imposed upon him, and for the enforcement in his command of strict observance of the article 37, Revised Army Regulations, for the government of troops on transports.

He will require, when arriving in sight of port, a report of the voyage from the senior officer or acting officer of each staff department on board, and will transmit it with his own report, though the proper channel, to the Adjutant-General of the Army.

These reports should give any facts of interest touching the accommodation and health of the troops, the manner in which the officers