Jesse K. Dubois to Abraham Lincoln, June 8, 1861

    Source citation
    Jesse K. Dubois to Abraham Lincoln, June 8, 1861, Springfield, IL, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    Author (from)
    Dubois, Jesse K.
    Date Certainty
    Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

    Springfield 8 June 1861

    Dear Lincoln

    I Desire you to read this letter not that I expect any attention will be paid to what I may say because eminating, from me, but for the facts stated. And I want you to read the letter through. And I beg leave to call your attention to the following facts concerning the forces called for from this State by your Proclamations of April 15th and May 4th. It was deemed necessary by the War Department immediately upon your first proclamation to occupy Cario and detached companies from various parts of the State hastily organized, badly equiped and not yet musterd into the service of the United States were hastily thrown forward to that place which they have continued to occupy up to this time. The other companies brought to Springfield as rapidly as possible, were at once musterd into service organised into Regiments and sent off without any sufficent preparation to occupy important Points. Nothing as is well known tends so much to demoralise Regiments of new troops as to place them in detached camps, without opportunity for comparison and emulation and necessarily without means of instruction and Discipline Whilst the forces called for from Ohio and Indiana were assembled in large camps for improvement and to supply them with arms, accoutrements and proper clothing the troops from this State have from the first been denied these advantages -- this was probably necessary in the beginning but it is not so now. Although the six additional Regiments have for some time been mustered into the service of the U. S. service no Brigadier Generals have yet been appointed to command and now as from the beginning they have been under the command of an officer in Ohio who has never once visited the State.-- Orders have been recently received from him, separating the Regiments again into detached camps, without regard to any means of Discipline and instruction Of necessity this officer knows little or nothing of thier condition and cannot feel that interest in them essential to thier proper efficiency Illinois by these means has been placed at the the greatest possible disadvantage and is likely to remain so, to the destruction of her military character and to the best interest of the country unless you interpose to secure for the State at least the advantage enjoyed by others. The people of the State as well as the Regiments are beginning to be uneasy and dissatisfied at this evident neglect of thier interests and of the reputation of the State and they look to you to see that such a state of things be at once done away with From her extant and peculiar position Illinois is the first District in the west and should have assigned to her troops, some competent officer in whom there will be confidence and who should be clothed with the power necessary to enable him to put the troops into the best possible condition for active service. It is needless to tell you that the influence of the State in the stirring events before us must largely depend upon her military efficiency in the Field. She commenced to play her part in this war, with the high expectation reputation acquired in the Mexican War, and unless the present arrangements are amended she will have lost it all before the war is fairly opened. By delaying the appointment of her Generals they will of necessity be the lowest in the rank of any similar grade in the U. S, and whenever Illinois troops are brought to serve with those from other States they will occupy a subordinate position Her identity in this conflict will be lost and her influence seriously impared if not lost. The people of the State feel this bitterly and look to you to protect its interests The Generals should at once be appointed and an officer of experience and skill be placed in command of the State as a separate military department I understand you mind is made up to appoint Capt Pope Brigadier General in the army this is eminently right and proper, he is acceptable to our people but we want it done him or some one else. McClernand ought also to be appointed but you ought to let him be a few days in the called congress, and then appoint him in the mean time let him [presently?] understand what is to be his brigade was to see after it. as for the other Generals I neither know or care, but at all events let us have somebody to govern and control our troops

    Very Truly
    Jesse K Dubois

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