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Home > Civil War Sesquicentennial > Neal Dow Role of Artillery Transcript

Neal Dow Role of Artillery Transcript

Portland
Oct. 28, 1861

Dear General

Yours is rec’d. I am glad to see how helpful you are as to the recruiting business.  I should be so too, I think for I have a great many applications for papers – and if my agents are not very much too sanguine, we can easily have a double regiment – on the French system (now adopted in our service) we shall see.

Gen. Tillson will go with me, and not with Shepley, if he goes at all, which he will do if he can obtain a leave of absence.

With him I have as a Lieutenant, an English Gentleman, of ability – who has been long in the British Artillery – and served in it all through the Crimean War – and a son of Senator Fessenden.

I think you had better send a set of papers to J. S. Kimball at once. I do not see why I should not succeed in my application to the Sec’y of War for two batteries, as I assured him I could raise the men at once, and artillery is needed far more than infantry. Battles are now decided by the most and best served artillery – so that we can have artillery enough and of the best. The chief use of Infantry in battle will be to support that arm of service. So I think the Sec’y of War will not say to me ‘we do not need any more Artillery’ as he has said many times about Cavalry.

[Paragraphs concerning tent stoves and tannins for leather omitted. See image]

I suppose I am to have the supervision and direction in getting up my battery, under the warrant of the Sec’y of War addressed to me, and I am anxious to know about it as it will require time to get up the caissons, gun carriages and I wish to know whether I am to have the guns of the State or to look to the War Department for them.  I prefer the latter very much if they can be had in time.

Truly yours,
Neal Dow

P.S.  I am inquired of how the companies are to have drums - I need now a requisition for two – shall have no fifes but the drums instead – and in the battalion- a drum corps of 20 drummers – the French system.

Truly yours,
Neal Dow