WAR DEPT., ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 55.
Washington, July 21, 1864.
The following is published for the information of all concerned.*
E. D. TOWNSEND,
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 21, 1864.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to return the letter of the Provost- Marshal-General of the 15th of July, 1864,+ referred to me for opinion upon the several recommendations therein contained. I believe that, with some attention upon the part of the proper officers, it will now be possible to create, at small expense, a very considerable and effective body of trained soldiers, which can be relied upon in case of necessity, to relieve for a time the regular garrison of Washington from all internal guard duty, and also to occupy a considerable portion of the entrenchments. I understand from the note attached to the copy of the order directing General Fry to organize the clerks of the various bureaus of the War Department for the purpose of drill, that it is not the intention of the War Department to interfere with the organization already made by the Quartermaster-General of the clerks of this office, and of the persons employed by this department in the District of Columbia. This organization put 3,000 men on active duty during the late attack upon Washington, and the effect upon the men themselves in awakening a military spirit has been very happy. They now neter into the exercise and drill required of them cheerfully. I trust, therefore, that the organization may remain under the command of the officers of this department. It will make a respectable brigade for drill, or for service in case of necessity, as guards of buildings, depots, or trenches. The clerks of the War department if joined, as I hope they will be, by the clerks of other departments of the Government can probably furnish another brigade under command of the Provost-Marshal-General, and the emulation between the two will be advantageous. I respectfully inclose a copy of a circular++ issued by General Rucker, under instructions from the Quartermaster-General, which will show the organization now being carried into effect in the Quartermaster's Department. The battalion of clerks of this office is under command of Captain Dana, assistant quartermaster, and forms a part of General Rucker's brigade. No special armory is needed for this brigade, as the arms are stored in armories at the several large warehouses, which are places of rendezvous for companies or battalions. A special armory for the brigade of clerks of the War and other Department is, I think, needed, and I recommend that this department be authorized to erect one of wood, in a suitable but temporary style, on the public park south of the President's Mansion, where it would be convenient to the department buildings and also to the drill grounds. I recommend that a forage cap, blouse, and one pair of foot trousers be set aside for each enrolled
*Here follows the proposition of the Governors of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin of April 21, printed on p. 237, and the President's acceptance thereof, p. 238.
+See p. 497.
++See Series I, Vol. XXXVII, Part II, p. 385.