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river, under the command of captain Joshua Chamberlain, of Orrington ; and the detached company in the same neighbourhood, under the command of captain Thomas George, of Brewer, to form a battalion, to be commanded by major Nathan Low, of Deer Isle, and directed them to march immediately to Eastport, and that they would probably march the next day. I shall immediately write to major Low, and direct him to conform to the above instructions in disposing of the companies, until the president of the United States shall otherwise direct. I am, sir, with respect, your most obedient servant, (Signed)
CALEB STRONG. Honourable William Eustis, Secretary of War.
Northampton, Sept. 10, 1812. I received this morning a letter from major general Sewall, dated the 1st of this month, in which he mentions that the detached troops from the neighbourhood of Penobscot, had marched to Eastport five or six days before that time, with their adjutant and quartermaster ; but that major Low, who was appointed to command them, had been released from that service, on account of bodily infirmity; and that major Jacob Ulmer, of Lincolnville, was appointed in his room, and had been notified to proceed immediately to Eastport.
General Sewall observes, that application had been made to him for the appointment of a commissary and surgeon for the post at Eastport, and if those appointments, or either of them, are thought necessary, he proposes Mr. Chevy, an officer in the artillery, for the former, and Dr. Baxtow, a surgeon in the militia, for the latter, both inhabitants of Eastport. I am, sir, with sentiments of respect, &c. (Signed)
CALEB STRONG. Honourable William Eustis, Secretary of War.
War Department, April 15th, 1812. I am instructed by the president of the United States to call upon the executives of the several states, to take effectual measures to organize, arm, and equip, according to law, and hold in readiness to march at a moment's warning, their respective proportions of one hundred thousand militia, officers included, by virtue of an act of congress, passed the 10th instant, entitled, “An act to authorize a detachment from the militia of the United States."
This, therefore, is to require your excellency to take effectual measures for having three thousand of the militia of Connecticut (being her quota), detached and duly organized in com
panies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and divisions, within the shortest period that circumstances will permit, and as nearly as possible in the following proportions of artillery, cavalry, and infantry, viz. one twentieth part of artillery, one twentieth part of cavalry, and the residue infantry. There will, however, be no objection on the part of the president of the United States, to the admission of a proportion of riflemen duly organized in distinct corps, and not exceeding one tenth part of the whole quota of the states respectively. Each corps should be properly armed and equipped for actual service.
When the detachment and organization shall have been effected, the respective corps will be exercised under the officers set over them, but will not remain embodied, or be considered as in actual service, until by subsequent orders they shall be directed to take the field.
Your excellency will please to direct that correct muster rolls and inspection returns be made of the several corps, and that copies thereof be transmitted to this department as early as possible.
I have the honour to be, &c. (Signed)
W.EUSTIS. His excellency Roger Griswold, Governor of Connecticut.
Lyme, April 20th, 1812. I had the honour, this morning, to receive your letter of the 15th inst. containing the directions of the president of the United States, for detaching three thousand of the militia of this state, agreeably to the provisions of the act of congress of the 10th inst. The act itself has not been received, and it will be very satisfactory to me to receive a copy of it, by the next mail, from your department. In the mean time every preparation will be made for detaching the officers and men agreeably to the directions already received.
I have the honour to be, with great respect, your obedient and very humble servant, (Signed)
ROGER GRISWOLD. Hon. the Secretary of War.
War Department, June 12th, 1812. I am directed by the president to request your excellency to order into the service of the United States, on the requisition of major-general Dearborn, such part of the quota of militia from the state of Connecticut, detached conformably to the act of April 10th, 1812, as he may deem necessary for the defence of the sea coast. I have the honour to be, &c. (Signed)
WM. EUSTIS. His excellency Roger Griswold, Governor of Connecticut.
Lyme, June 17th, 1812. I have had the honour, this afternoon, to receive your letter of the 12th instant, communicating to me the request of the president, that I would order into the service of the United States, on the requisition of major general Dearborn, such part of the quota of militia from the state of Connecticut, detached conformably to the act of congress of April 10th, 1812, as he may deem necessary for the defence of the sea coast.
In obedience to which request, I shall, on the requisition of general Dearborn, execute without delay, the request of the president.
With great respect, I have the honour to be, your obedient servant,
(Signed) ROGER GRISWOLD. Honourable Wm. Eustis, Secretary of War.
Sharon, Connecticut, July 2d, 1812. His excellency governor Griswold has received from major general Henry Dearborn, a letter under date of the 22d of last month, requesting that five companies of the militia of this state, detached conformably to the act of congress of April 10th, 1812, may be ordered into the service of the United States, to wit : "two companies of artillery, and two companies of infantry, to be placed under the command of the commanding officer at fort Trumbull, near New London, and one company of artillery, to be stationed at the battery at the entrance of the harbour of New Haven."
Impressed with the deep importance of the requisition, and the serious considerations it involves, his excellency deemed it expedient to convene the council at Hartford, on Monday, the 29th ultimo. He has taken their advice upon this interesting subject, and has formed his own deliberate opinion ; but as he is under the necessity of leaving the state on a journey for the recovery of his health, it becomes my duty, as lieutenant governor, to communicate to you the result.
The assurance contained in the governor's letter of the 17th June last, in answer to yours of the 12th of the same month, was necessarily given in full confidence, that no demand would be made by general Dearborn, but in strict conformity to the constitution and laws of the United States. His excellency regrets to perceive that the present requisition is supported by neither.
The constitution of the United States has ordained, that congress may “ provide for calling forih the militia, to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions."
Accordingly the acts of congress of February, 1795, and of April, 1812, do provide for calling forth the militia" in the exigencies" above mentioned. The governor is not informed of any declaration made by the president of the United States, or of notice by him given that the militia are required "to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections, or repel in-, vasions,” or that “the United States are in imminent danger of invasion.” As, therefore, none of these contingencies enumerated in the constitution, and recognized by the laws, are shown to have taken place, his excellency considers that no portion of the militia of this state can, under existing circumstances, be withdrawn from his authority. Farther, if the call had been justified by either of the constitutional exigencies already recited, still, in the view of his excellency, an insuperable objection presents itself against placing the men under the immediate command of an officer or officers of the army of the United States.
The appointment of the officers of the militia, is by the constitution expressly reserved “to the states respectively." In the event of their being called into the actual service of the United States in the cases before specified, the laws of the United States provide for their being called forth as militia, furnished with proper officers by the state. And, sir, it will not escape your recollection, that the detachment from the militia of this state under the act of congress of the 10th of April last, is regularly organized into a division, consisting of brigades, regiments, battalions, and companies, and supplied conformably to law with all the necessary officers. His excellency conceives then, that an order to detach a number of companies sufficient for the command of a battalion officer, and place them under the command of an officer of the United States, cannot with propriety be executed, unless he were also prepared to admit that the privates may be separated from their company officers, and transferred into the army of the United States; thus leaving the officers of the militia without any command except in name, and in effect impairing, if not annihilating, the militia itself, so sacredly guaranteed by the constitution to the several states. Under these impressions the governor has thought proper, by and with the advice of the council, to refuse a compliance with the requisition of major general Dearborn.
His excellency is sincerely disposed to comply promptly with all the constitutional requests of the national executive, a disposition which has ever been manifested by the government of this state, and he laments the occasion which thus compels him to yield obedience to the paramount authority of the constitution and laws of the United States. He trusts the general government will speedily provide an adequate force for the security
and protection of the sea coast. In the mean time his excellency has issued the necessary orders to the general officers commanding the militia in that quarter, to be in readiness to repel any invasion which may be attempted upon that portion of the state, and to co-operate with such part of the national forces as shall be employed for the same purpose.
With great respect, I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient and very humble servant,
(Signed) JOHN COTTON SMITH. To the Hon. Wm. Eustis, Secretary of War.
War Department, July 14th, 1812. I have the honour to acknowledge your letter of the 2d inst.-The absence of his excellency governor Griswold, on acaccount of ill health, is seriously to be regretted, particularly at this important crisis, when his prompt assurances of obeying the requisition of the president, to call into the service of the United States, such detachments of militia as might be required, conformably to the act of April 10, 1812, through general Dearborn, are interrupted and suspended by your honour.
The reason assigned for refusing to execute the engagements of his excellency governor Griswold, appears not less extraordinary than the act itself. After a declaration of war against a nation possessed of a powerful and numerous fleet, a part of which were actually on our coast, had been promulgated, and officially communicated to the executive of the state, the assertion made by your honour, “ that the governor is not informed that the United States are in imminent danger of invasion,” was not to have been expected. To remove all doubts from your mind on this subject, I am instructed by the president to state to you, that such danger actually exists; and to request that the requisition of general Dearborn, made by his special authority, for calling into the service of the United States certain detachments of militia, from the state of Connecticut, be forthwith carried into effect.
The right of the state to officer the militia, is clearly recognized in the requisition of general Dearborn. The detachments, when marched to the several posts assigned them, with their proper officers, appointed conformably to the laws of the state, will command, or be commanded, according to the rules and articles of war, and the
VOL. I. PART I.