King, Rufus – April 30, 1861

Michigan Civil War Collection Letters

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

Regiment: U.S. Volunteers General Staff

Battles Mentioned:

Historical Figures: John E. Wool, Winfield Scott

Astor House, N.Y.
April 30, 1861.
Dear Governor
Your despatch of the 29th came to hand about noon, today.
I immediately telegraphed, in reply, that I would attend to your requests.
Accordingly, I called on Gen. Wool, who commands this Department; requested
an order for arms and an officer to muster our Wisconsin contingents into
service, and I read your despatch to him. The General referred me to Wash-
ington which I cannot reach before tomorrow night, if I start right off.
I then made out, in your name, a formal requisition for 3,000 or 5,000
stand of arms and sent it to Gen. Wool, by the hands of a friend, who has
great influence with him. The trials of that allication I am yet to learn.
I, at the same time, telegraphed to Thurlow Weed (who is now at Washington)
that Wisconsin was most anxious to furnish more troops and urging that the
necessary orders therefor should be issued at once. I had already written
to Gen. Scott and Gov. Seward, to the same effect. So I hope that we shall
get the necessary authority.

In compliance with your request I should have left for Washington this
evening, taking my chances of getting through, but for two reasons. One was,
that I wanted to get orders for arms here, first, if I could; and the other,
that I wished to see and talk with Mr. Weed, a few minutes, before starting
for the Capital. He will return thence to-morrow, and when he brings definite
information (as I asked him to do) about our Wisconsin contingents, orders,
arms, etc., I shall go on, and endeavor to “close up the business” without
further delay. Having done so, I shall hurry back to Milwaukee, to render
all the aid in my power toward organizing, equipping, and drilling our Wis-
consin troops, and ready and willing, if “Your Excellency” approves, to take
command of the same. I have applied for and obtained three months “leave of
absence” from Rome, for that purpose.

All is war here, but everybody now believes that Washington is safe and
clamors for the re-opening of the road thro’ Baltimore and suitable demon
strations upon Harper’s Ferry and Richmond. I think that these will come in
good time. New York continues to furnish men, money, munitions, provisions,
and steam and sail-craft, without maintain the Government and defend
the Union. Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New England are equally ripe and ready.

Yrs: always
s/ Rufus King

P.s. I have just received from Gen. Wool a promise of an order for three
thousand stand of arms, from Springfield, Illinois. If they are not of the
right kind, we can change them afterwards for others.

R. K.