In assigning you to the command of the military district of the State of Indiana, only general instructions can be given to you to take such measures as may be in your power to encourage enlistments in the Army, to arrest and return deserters, and for the preservation of peace, the enforcement of the draft, and the repression of any efforts that may be made by disloyal persons to resist the drafting officers, or to discourage enlistments or facilitate desertions, and also for the secure detention of prisoners of war in their respective camps which are in your command. The performance of these duties will require vigilance, energy, and discretion, which it is believed you possess, and in respect to the exercise of which detailed instructions cannot be given. You are authorized to exercise within your district the powers of the commander of a department, in making military arrests, in the organization of courts-martial, and in carrying their sentences into effect. You will render to the executive authority of Indiana whatever aid may be needed in the enforcement of the laws and the preservation of peace. The cordial relations which are understood to exist between you and His Excellency Governor Morton will no doubt lead to that harmony of action between the Federal and State authorities which is highly desirable should obtain. The frequent and thorough inspection of the camps of prisoners is directed, and also a close supervision of the administration and expenditure of the several staff departments.
You will exercise command over the militia forces of the State whenever called into service by the direction of the President. You will also recommend to this Department such measures as may be needed to protect your district from hostile invasion or from insurrection by domestic enemies of the Government. It will be proper to bear in minds in all your measures and recommendations that all the military power of the Government is needed for the armies in the field, and that whatever forces are drawn from the armies or kept back impair the means for subduing the enemy. One of your most important duties, therefore, will be to urge forward the draft and volunteering, and hurry troops forward to the field. Your usefulness will in a great degree be measured by your alacrity and success in this direction. It has been the unfortunate experience of the Department that officers exercising your command are all the while calling for troops or inventing excuses for not raising them, or for keeping the back from the field. To cure this evil has been one of the reasons for assigning an officer of your merit, activity, and patriotic zeal to the duties now intrusted to you. The presence of such a chief ought to be "worth a thousand men."
It will be the disposition of this Department to give to you every support and confidence which the delicate and responsible trust committed to your charge may require, and you are authorictions from time to time, either to the commander of the department or (through the Adjutant-General) to the Secretary of War, as circumstances may require.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. TOWNSEND,