If we are to be attacked we shall get no notice, for the ocean sends forth no sound of the coming invader, and the first knowledge would be the blow.
I think it is not necessary to argue to you the propriety of manning our forts and batteries and providing somewhat for defense beyond these. If they are not to be garrisoned, then our entire coast, rivers and all, are open to the enemy. If they are to be manned, by whom should it be done, and out of what contingent? I say, by troops furnished by the United States. If so, and Maine furnished those troops, why should they not be allowed on here quota? The men taken for this purpose exhausts, so far, our numbers of fighting men, and they are employed in performing a duty of the United States.
Although our towns have not been burned, the commerce of Maine has suffered largely by rebel depredations which the Navy of the United States has been unable to prevent, and our ship owners have been driven to sell their ships to foreigners or resort to the humaliation of placing them under the flags of other nations. If the Government cannot protect our property on the ocean, it should surely do so on the land, so far as it can.
Maine has sent her full contingent to the fields of battle, on which, alas, how many of her best and bravest are resting forever. As the lists come in to me of the slain and wounded, I confess I am appalled at the frightful carnage of the campaign now in progress. Regiments created since the 1st of February last have gone from this State, which to-day cannot number 200 men for duty. One, having 1,800 men, left the city of Washington after the battle of the Wilderness, and to-day cannot rally 400 muskets. So far as I learn, the proportions are the same in all our others.
Under these circumstances I respectfully submit that it does not properly lie in the mouth of any other State to say that the allowance of 400 or 500 men on the quota of Maine for here own defense and that of the property of the United States is unjust. I trust, Mr. Secretary, that you will reconsider your decision, for I should very much regret to be obliged to say to the people of Maine that this pitiful favor had been refused them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor of Maine.
AUGUSTA, July 25, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
May we attempt to raise companies to fill our skeleton regiments in the field, which must be further consolidated? The Fifth and Sixth Regiments now make a battalion of four companies, called the Provisional Maine Battalion. General Russell wants us to send six new companies for it forthwith.
The Twenty-ninth, partly formed from Tenth, will soon lose a company from expiration of term of service.
Governor State of Maine.
35 R R-SERIES III, VOL IV