May 28, 1861 - Difficulties and disarray in recruiting for Tennessee's Confederate Volunteer
ranks, Isham G. Harris to L. P. Walker, Isham G. Harris to L. P. Walker
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, May 28, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER, War Department, Montgomery:
SIR: When I had the honor of addressing you on the 25th instant
Note 1 I flattered myself with the hope that I should experience no difficulty in inducing some four of our volunteer regiments already organized to muster into the
service of the Confederate States at once, and by that means secure the use of
the 4,000 guns you had the kindness to send me; but upon submitting the
proposition to any one of our regiments or companies I find many members
ready to be mustered into the service at once, but others objecting, and to
attempt to carry out the policy is to disorganize regiments and companies and
to a great extent demoralize the force now so necessary to the service of the
State and the Confederate States. This I am unwilling to do. Hence the
regiments-for the Confederate States must be raised for that especial purpose,
which will take some time, during which, under your order, the guns you sent
me are lying idle, while I have several thousand men organized and ready for
the field [already mustered into the service of the State], but unarmed, with a
powerful enemy menacing us every moment. If you can, consistent with your
sense of duty, relax the rule laid down in your dispatch of the 20th instant so far
as to allow me to put these guns into the hands of our State troops, I assure you
that they shall be withdrawn from them and placed in the hands of the
regiments raised for the Confederate States the moment these regiments are
raised and mustered in. Nothing short of the imperative necessity of the case
before me would induce me to trouble you with this request; but believing as I
do that it is a matter of the highest importance to the successful defense of the
Confederate States, as well as the State of Tennessee, I feel that it is a duty to
ISHAM G. HARRIS.
Have the kindness to answer by telegraph.
I. G. H.OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, pp. 358-359.