« PreviousContinue »
warding of troops and supplies for the public defense.
On the same occasion I directed that Governor Morgan and Alexander Cummings, of the city of New York, should be authorized by the Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, to make all necessary arrangements for the transportation of troops and munitions of war, in aid and assistance of the officers of the army of the United States, until communication by mails and telegraph should be completely re-established between the cities of Washington and New York. No security was required to be given by them, and either of them was authorized to act in case of inability to consult with the other.
On the same occasion I authorized and directed the Secretary of the Treasury to advance, without requiring security, two millions of dollars of public money to John A. Dix, George Opdyke, and Richard M. Blatchford, of New York, to be used by them in meeting such requisitions as should be directly consequent upon the military and naval measures necessary for the defense and support of the government, requiring them only to act without compensation, and to report their transactions when duly called upon.
The several departments of the government at that time contained so large a number of disloyal persons that it would have been impossible to provide safely through official agents only for the performance of the duties thus confided to citizens favorably known for their ability, loyalty, and patriotism.
The several orders issued upon these occurrences were transmitted by private messengers, who pursued a circuitous way to the seaboard cities, inland, across the States of Pennsylvania and Ohio and the northern lakes. I believe that by these and other similar measures taken in that crisis, some of which were without any authority of law, the government was saved from overthrow. I am not aware that a dollar of the public funds thus confided with authority of law to unofficial persons was either lost or wasted, although apprehensions of such misdirection occurred to me as objections to those extraordinary proceedings, and were necessarily overruled.
I recall these transactions now because my attention has been directed to a resolution which was passed by the House of Representatives on the 30th day of last month, which is in these words:
Resolved, That Simon Cameron, late Secretary of War, by investing Alexander Cummings with the control of large sums of the public money, and authority to purchase military supplies without restriction, without requiring from him any guarantee for the faithful performance of his duties, when the services of competent public officers were available, and by involving the government in a vast number of contracts with persons not legitimately engaged in the business pertaining to the subject-matter of such contracts, especially in the purchase of arms for future delivery, has adopted a policy highly injurious to the public service, and deserves the censure of the House.
Congress will see that I should be wanting equally in candor and in justice if I should leave the censure expressed in this resolution to rest exclusively or chiefly upon Mr. Cameron. The same sentiment is unanimously entertained by the heads of departments who participated in the proceedings which the House of Representatives has censured. It is due to Mr. Cameron to say that, although he fully approved the proceedings, they were not moved nor suggested by himself, and that not only the President but all the other heads of departments were at least equally responsible with him for whatever error, wrong, or fault was committed in the premises.
Order Constituting the Army of Virginia.
JUNE 26, 1862. Ordered-Ist. The forces under Major-Generals Frémont, Banks, and McDowell, including the troops now under Brigadier-General Sturgis at Washington, shall be consolidated and form one army, to be called the Army of Virginia.
2d. The command of the army of Virginia is specially assigned to Major-General John Pope, as commanding general. The troops of the Mountain Department, heretofore under command of General Frémont, shall constitute the First Army Corps, under the command of General Frémont; the troops of the Shenandoah Department, now under General Banks, shall constitute the Second Army Corps, and be commanded by him; the troops under the command of General McDowell, except those within the fortifications and city of Washington, shall form the Third Army Corps, and be under his command.
3d. The Army of Virginia shall operate in such manner as, while protecting western Virginia and the national capital from danger or insult, it shall in the speediest manner attack and overcome the rebel forces under Jackson and Ewell, threaten the enemy in the direction of Charlottesville, and render the most effective aid to relieve General McClellan and capture Richmond.
4th. When the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Virginia shall be in position to communicate and directly co-operate at or before Richmond, the chief command, while so operating together, shall be governed, as in like cases, by the Rules and Articles of War.
Letter to State Governors Calling for Troops.
New York, June 30, 1862. To the Governors of the several States: The capture of New Orleans, Norfolk, and Corinth by the national forces has enabled the insurgents to concentrate a large force at and about Richmond, which place we must take with the least possible delay; in fact, there will soon be no formidable insurgent force except at Richmond. With so large an army there, the enemy can threaten us on the Potomac and elsewhere. Until we have re-established the national authority, all these places must be held, and we must keep a respectable force in front of Washington. But this, from the diminished strength of our army by sickness and casualties, renders an addition to it necessary in order to close the struggle which has been prosecuted for the last three months with energy and success. Rather than hazard the misapprehension of our military condition and of groundless alarm by a call for troops by proclamation, I have deemed it best to address you in this form.
To accomplish the object stated, we require, without delay, 150,000 men, including those recently called for by the Secretary of War. Thus reinforced, our gallant army will be enabled to realize the hopes and expectations of the government and the people.
The undersigned, governors of States of the Union, impressed with the belief that the citizens of the States which they respectively represent are of one accord in the hearty desire that the recent successes of the Federal arms may be followed up by measures which must insure the speedy restoration of the Union, and believing that in view of the present state of the important military movements now in progress, and the reduced condition of our effective forces in the field, resulting from the usual and unavoidable casualties in the service, the time has arrived for prompt and vigorous measures to be adopted by the people in support of the great interests committed to your charge, respectfully request, if it meets with your entire approval, that you at once call upon the several States for such number of men as may be required to fill up all military organizations now in the field, and add to the armies heretofore organized such additional number of men as may, in your judgment, be necessary to garrison and hold all the numerous cities and military positions that have been captured by our armies, and to speedily crush the rebellion that still exists in several of the Southern States, thus practically restoring to the civilized world our great and good government. All believe that the decisive moment is near at hand, and to that end the people of the United tates are desirous to