Mem.--Similar letter sent to his Excellency, the Governor of Maryland, this date. The reason given for the refusal to act on this proposition can be made consistent with the enlistment of men for one hundred days, to serve in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and at Washington and vicinity. The following communication, dated twenty-second July, 1864, was made by Major-General Couch to the Secretary of war:
[copy.]On the same day approved in writing of the proposition, and expressed my opinion that the Legislature would pass an act in accordance with it at its adjourned session, on the twenty-third of August. I am furnished with an official copy of the following reply, dated August first, 1864, to the proposition of General Couch:headquarters Department of Susquehanna, Harrisburg, July 22, 1864.sir: During the recent raid into Maryland, the citizens of Chambersburg turned out with a determination to stand by the few soldiers present and hold the town against any cavalry force that might assault it. Five hundred citizens of York, irrespective of party, volunteered and were armed, and went down the Northern Central Railroad and repaired the bridges. In order to show you that the border citizens are beginning to realize that by united action they have the strength to protect themselves against an ordinary raiding party, enclosed I invite your attention to a letter addressed to the Governor, together with the endorsement upon the subject of forming a special corps from the six border counties most exposed. If ten thousand men can thus be organized, its existence would be a protection and give confidence. I am informed that the general sentiment of the people in question is in favor of something being done at once, and as a military measure I think it will be of essential service to the General Government, and recommend that the War Department encourage the movement, by authorizing the loan or issue of uniforms, provided the law in question is enacted. It is believed that the new militia law of this State will practically prove of no value, expecting that an enrollment will probably be made. I am, sir, Very respectfully Your obedient servant, (Signed)
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:D. N. Couch, Major-General, commanding Department.Headquarters Department of Susquehanna, Harrisburg, August 4--A true copy: respectfully furnished for the information of his Excellency, Governor A. G. Curtin. (Signed)John S. Schultz, Assistant Adjutant-General.
(copy)In each of the three years, 1862, 1863, and 1864, it has been found necessary to call out the State militia for the defence of the State, and this has been done with the assent and assistance of the General Government. From the want of organization, we have been obliged to rely exclusively on volunteer military, and with few exceptions to organize anew for such occasions. This has caused confusion and a loss of valuable time, and has resulted in sending to the field bodies of men in a great measure undisciplined. The militia bill passed at the last session is, I think, for ordinary times, the best militia law we have ever had, but under the existing extraordinary circumstances it seems to require modification. I suggest that the Assessor be directed to make an immediate enrollment, classifying the militia as may be thought best. That the officer be appointed by the Governor, on the recommendation, approved by him, of a board of examination, composed of three Major-Generals for each Division, of whom the Major-General of the Division shall be one, the other two to be designated by the Governor, from adjoining divisions, or in such other modes as the Legislature may think fit; that in all cases the officers shall be selected by preference from officers and men who have been in service, and shall have been honorably discharged by the United States, and that effectual provision be made for drafting the militia when required. The recommendation in regard to appointments is made to avoid the angry dissension, and too often political jealousy, which divide military organizations by the election of officers and to secure the services of the most deserving and competent men. The election of officers inwar Department, Adjutant-General's office, Washington, D. C., August 1, 1864.General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the twenty-second of July, relative to the United States providing uniforms for a special corps of militia from certain border counties of Pennsylvania. In reply, I am directed to inform you that the subject has been carefully considered by the Secretary of War, who cannot sanction the issue of the clothing in question. I am, General, Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, (Signed) Harrisburg, August sixth, 1864.--A true copy, respectfully furnished for the information of his Excellency, Governor A. G. Curtin. (Signed)
Major-General D. N. Couch, Commanding, &c., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.John S. Shultz. Assistant Adjutant-General.