Stanton: “The aspect of affairs in New York City and State urgently demands attention”

Sec. Stanton wrote,

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington city, October 23, 1864.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of United States, City Point, Va.:

GENERAL: The aspect of affairs in New York City and State urgently demands attention, as well for the security of the forts in the harbor of New York, the defense of the lake frontier from invasion, and the preservation of the public peace and from the purity of the ballot-box, from rebels imported from Canada. I have just had a consultation with General Dix, who has called here for conference upon these subjects. He informs me he has already, in a communication to you as general commanding all the forces of the United States, reported the insecure condition of the forts in New York Harbor. You are aware that there are no troops in Washington or elsewhere at the disposal of the Department to meet this necessity. General Dix informs me that during the coming week he will be able to send you 5,000 new recruits, but for want of organization, and also for local reasons, they are not a proper force to place in garrison. Allow me to suggest whether, in view of their accession to you army, you cannot spare 2,000 or 3,000 men, temporarily, to be sent to New York and placed under his command. I see no other way of meeting the emergency. By the 15th of November the necessity will either have passed away, or, by troops from other States, those now to be forwarded can be replaced. Please favor me with your views on this subject at you earliest convenience.

Yours, truly,


Secretary of War.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 340

O.R., I, xliii, part 2, p 452-3

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