John C. Fremont to Abraham Lincoln, July 30, 1861

    Source citation
    John C. Fremont to Abraham Lincoln, July 30, 1861, St. Louis, MO, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    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.

    Head Quarters Western Department.

    St. Louis, July 30th 1861.


    My dear Sir,

    You were kind enough to say that as occasions of sufficient gravity arose I might send you a private note.

    I have found this command in disorder, nearly every county in an insurrectionary condition, and the enemy advancing in force, by different points of the southern frontier. Within a circle of fifty miles around Genl Prentiss there are about 12 000 of the confederate forces, and 5000 under Hardee -- Tenneseeans & Arkansas men, well armed with rifles -- advancing upon Ironton. Of these 2000 are cavalry, which yesterday morning were within twenty four hours march of Ironton. Col. Bland who had been seduced from this post is falling back upon it. I have already re-inforced it with one regiment -- sent on another this mg. & fortified it, & am holding the Rail road to Ironton and that to Rolla.

    Other measures which I am taking I will not trust to a letter, and write this note only to inform you as to our true condition. And to say, that, if I can obtain the materiel aid I am expecting you may feel secure that the enemy will be driven out and the state reduced to order. I have ordered Genl. Pope back to North Mis. of which he is now in command. I am sorely pressed for want of arms. I have arranged with Adams Express Co. to bring me every thing with speed and will buy arms to day in New York. Our troops have not been paid and some regiments are in a state of mutiny and the men whose term of service is expired, generally refuse to enlist. I lost a fine regiment last night from inability to pay them a portion of the money due -- this regiment had been intended to move on a critical post last night. The Treasurer of the United States has here $300.000, entirely unappropriated. I applied to him yesterday for $100.000 for my paymaster Genl. Andrews but was refused. We have not an hour for delay. There are three courses open to me. One to let the enemy possess himself of some of the strongest points in the State and threaten St. Louis, which is insurrectionary. 2d. To force a loan from the secession banks here. 3d. To use the money belonging to the Govt. which is in the Treasury here. Of course I will neither lose the State or permit the enemy a foot of advantage. I have infused energy and activity into the Dept. and a thoroughly good spirit into my officers and men. This morning I will order the Treasurer to deliver the money in his possession to Genl. Andrews and will send a force to the Treasury, take the money, and will direct such payments as the exigency requires. I will hazard everything for the defence of the Dept. you have confided to me, and trust to you for support.

    With respect and regard
    I am yours truly
    J. C. Fremont
    Maj. Genl. Commdg.

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