Doc. 187.-Secretary Cameron's letter.
war Department, Washington, May 22, 1861.Dear Sir:--By reference to General Orders, No. 15, of the War Department, appended, a copy of which I herewith forward you, giving the plan of the organization of the volunteer forces called into the service of the United States by the President, you will perceive that all regimental officers of those volunteers, from Colonels down to Second Lieutenants, inclusive, are appointed by the Governors of States. Having thus confided to you the appointment of all these officers for the regiments furnished by your State, you will, I trust, excuse this Department for impressing upon you in advance the necessity of absolute adherence in your appointments, to the following suggestions, which are deemed of the highest importance by the General-in-Chief, under whose advice they are submitted to you: First.--To commission no one of doubtful morals or patriotism, and not of sound health. Second.--To appoint no one to a Lieutenancy, Second or First, who has passed the age of 22 years; or to a Captaincy over 30 years; and to appoint no Field-officers, Major, Lieutenant, or Colonel, unless a graduate of the United States Military Academy, or is known to possess military knowledge and experience, who has passed the respective ages of 35, 40, and 45 years. This Department feels assured it will not be deemed offensive to your Excellency to add this general counsel, that the higher the moral character and general intelligence of the officers so appointed, the greater the efficiency of the troops and the resulting glory to their respective States. I am, sir, respectfully,
Simon Cameron, Secretary of War.
--National Intelligencer, May 24.