Request to Mobilize Pennsylvania Troops

September 11, 1862

As Confederates threaten Maryland and Pennsylvania, President Lincoln discusses mobilization of Pennsylvania and request from the state’s governor, Andrew G. Curtin.  Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase writes in his diary: “ “On arriving at the War Department, found Gen Wright, of Penna., there; with a request from Gov. Curtin to call into active service all the able bodied men of the State.  The President, Gen. Halleck and Mr. Stanton submitted the question, ‘What answer shall be returned to Gov Curtin?’–Gen. H. thought the important thing was to mass all the force possible on this side the enemy, and defeat him; and that a general army of Pennsylvania would not be sufficiently available to warrant the vast expenses sure to be incurred.–Mr. Stanton expressed no opinion as to defeat of the enemy from this side, but thought Gov. Curtin’s proposal too large to be entertained, and stated that the arms for a general arming could not be furnished.–I asked Gen. H., ‘What force, in your opinion, has the enemy?’–‘From the best evidence I have–not satisfactory, but the best–I reckon the whole number in Maryland and the vicinity of Washington, at 150,000.’–‘How many in Maryland?’–‘Two-thirds probably, or 100,000’–‘What in your judgment as a soldier, are the designs of the enemy?’–‘Impossible to judge with certainty.  Suppose he will do what I would do if in his place–rest, recruit, get supplies, augment force, and obtain all possible information; and then strike the safest and most effectual blow he can–at Washington, Baltimore or Philadelphia.  If not strong enough to strike a blow, he will, after getting all he can, attempt to re-cross into Virginia.’–‘You think, then, there is no probably of an advance into Pennsylvania at present.’–‘None, unless a raid.’–Upon these statements, I expressed the opinion, that, considering the situation of our troops sent out to attack the rebel army, it was not impossible that a raid, at least would be attempted into Pennsylvania, and that Gov. Curtin was wise in making provision for it; that the proposition to arm the whole people was, however, too broad; and that I thought it would be well to authorize the Governor to call out as many troops as could be armed with the arms he reported himself as having–say 30,000.  The President said he was averse to giving the order, on the score of expense; but would think of it till tomorrow.

General George B. McClellan writes General Henry W. Halleck: “Everything seems to indicate that they intend to hazard all upon the issue of the coming battle.  They are probably aware that their forces are numerically superior to ours by at least twenty-five per cent.  This, with the prestige of their recent successes, will, without doubt, inspire them with a confidence which will cause them to fight well.  The momentous consequences involved in the struggle of the next few days impel me, at the risk of being considered slow and overcautious, to most earnestly recommend that every available man be at once added to this army.”

President Lincoln authorizes colonization project in Panama.

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Published in: on September 11, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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