May 28, 1861.—Governor writes to Jacob F. Kent
, Providence, R. I.
, that ‘Massachusetts
is allowed six regiments, and would be glad to send twenty, if they would let her.’
He writes to Governor Washburn
, of Maine
If I have a chance to make an appointment of a good man as officer, I make no question as to his age, unless he comes somewhere near Methuselah.
I hold that I am not bound to take judicial notice of a man's age, or to enter into any particular investigation on the subject, provided I feel that I have got the right man. Both of us know some people at fifty who are younger than some at twenty-five; yet, on the whole, I like the suggestion of the War Department; and, if they err in favor of young men, why, that is so uncommon an error now-a-days among Government officials, that I regard it with great charity, as a hopeful symptom.
This letter undoubtedly has reference to a circular letter addressed to the Governors
of the loyal States by the Secretary of War
, in which the following suggestions are made in respect to the appointment of officers in the volunteer service:—
1. To commission no one of doubtful morals or patriotism, and not of sound health.
2. To appoint no one to a lieutenancy (second or first) who has passed the age of twenty-two years, or to a captaincy over thirty years; and to appoint no field officers (major, lieutenant-colonel, or colonel), unless a graduate of the United-States Military Academy, or known to possess military knowledge and experience, who have passed the respective ages of thirty-five, forty, forty-five years.
This department feels assured, that it will not be deemed offensive to your Excellency to add yet 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.
May 28.—The Governor telegraphs to Governor Dennison
, of Ohio
, ‘If you wish us to buy or contract for any equipments for you, can get two hundred a day made, suitable, if you wish.’
He telegraphs to the Secretary of War
, ‘The First Regiment ’