Bird. The battalion of four companies (Major Cabot) are yet at Fort Warren, and I think the safety of the fort and harbor requires that they should remain there.
There are ow 172 rebel prisoners at the fort, among whom are Captain Read, of the Tacony, Captain Webb, of the Atlanta, half a dozen of Morgan's guerrillas, and a large number of blockade runners. These men require close watching. There are 101 guns mounted, and the magazines are well supplied with proper ammunition. Major Cabot has given great attention to the discipline of his men in heavy artillery practice, and has made a valuable chart, showing the range of the various channels. This knowledge is of great value, and has been gained through much practice.
These are a few of the reasons why I think it would not be well to have this battalion removed and its place supplied with raw militia who are wholly ignorant (officers and men) of heavy artillery practice and garrison duty in so important a post.
There is a constant detail of seventy-five men for guard duty. The farrison has been weakened by the withdrawal of one of the heavy artillery companies; more men are required for duty there, and at least two companies of militia should be sent there immediately. If the battalion is removed, at least eight companies of militia should be sent to take its place. I have thought it my duty to bring this matter to the attention of Your Excellency, as its importance has forced itself strongly upon my mind. I presume the subject has been already considered by you. I shall be pleased if the views herein expressed shall meet your approval.
With great respect, I have the honor to be, Your Excellency's obedient servant,
BOSTON, May 4, 1864.
Brigadier General J. B. FRY:
I respectfully request that orders to Major Clarke to enforce draft in Massachusetts be suspended until document is received from the city government of Boston and myself, now being prepared. This is after confederance with Major Clarke. We are now gaining far more men than draft could possibly yield.
JOHN. A. ANDREW,
COLUMBUS, OHIO, May 4, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
The national Guard of Ohio have fully responded to my call. They do not want to be credited on the quota, and they want the draft to go forward, but they ask they ask to be exempted from it, that the draft may fall on the stay-at-home; that is, if the man is drawn who belongs to the National Guard it be laid aside the same as an enlisted volunteer, and other name be drawn. For many reasons I recommend this. If it can possibly, be done it will increase rather than decrease our military strength, and will somewhat equalize burdens of the service.
Our guard is composed exclusively of Union men.