soldier a man must lose his identity and become a machine, is an error.
The experience of this country, and of Germany
, in its recent war with France
, proved that an intelligent soldiery is more reliable, and the degree of reliability is in proportion to the intelligent appreciation of the causes that produced the war, and what was to be done.
A very striking evidence of the want of preparation for war was exemplified in the absence of any government troops in the city of Baltimore
on the 19th of April, 1861, when the Massachusetts
regiment, a uniformed and well drilled body of men, was attacked on its passage through that city by a hastily gathered mob, and a large number of soldiers from the city of Philadelphia
, under Colonel Small
, were driven back because they were without arms and ammunition; and, further, that the General Government
were deprived at that date of access northward by rail and by telegraph.
It may surprise many, when they learn that for several days after the 19th of April, 1861, almost the entire correspondence between the Eastern
, the Middle
, and the Western States
, and the government at Washington
, was carried by private messengers, sent daily by various routes from Harrisburg
, and vice versa
, under the instructions of Governor A. G. Curtin
The. necessities of the situation after the government's requisition for three months men was filled, developed the importance of something more than a militia organization for the protection of the people and their property in the State of Pennsylvania
What the future might produce the wisest men at that time could not foresee.
What effect a possible success on the part of the South
might have been on the position of some of the leading men in the North
, was unknown.
The Governor of Pennsylvania
, A. G. Curtin
, with great wisdom and foresight, recommended to the Legislature of that State the formation of fifteen full regiments-thirteen to be of infantry, one of light artillery, and one of cavalry — to be known as the “Reserve volunteer Corps of Pennsylvania
,” to be used firstly in the defense of the State
, and, secondly, to be transferred to the authority of the General Government
if not required by the State-thereby covering any probable situation that the chances of war might produce.
The eagerness to enter the army in defense of the life of the nation very rapidly filled these regiments.
They were organized and officered under the authority of Governor Curtin
, as well as clothed, equipped and provisioned at the expense of the State
The history of this organization, the only one of its kind in the States, has been often and well written, and as long as the State of Pennsylvania