|William T. Sherman was brigadier general of volunteers and second in command to Robert Anderson. In May 1862, Sherman was promoted to major general. DAB, 17:94.|
|Before the war, Nelson, a Kentucky native, held the rank of lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He became brigadier general of volunteers on September 16, 1861. Ibid., 13:426.|
Autograph letter. Chase Papers, Library of Congress (micro 16:0876).
New York Sept 2d 1861
The Hon Mr Chase Secy of the Treasury Dr Sir
When I had the pleasure of an interview with you at the Custom House during your last visit to this City 1 I presented you for your perusal the draft of a letter which would probably be addressed to you officially by James Gallatin Esqr. & myself, a Committee duly empowered by the proper authorities of the Provisional Government of Virginia to act in their behalf in certain contingencies.2 We informed you in that letter that we were advised by Messr Lamb & Paxton two members of the Governor's Council,3 who brought us our credentials, that there were two wants arms, & money in moderate amount for the support of their Government. I understood from you that you was in favor of giving the required aid in both particulars. Gov Peirpoint4 was then written to, to ascertain how much money would be needed, what were the resources of taxation available to reimburse a loan if effected, upon the credit of the Provisional Government, what length of time it would have to run, & what authority there was under existing laws to make the act of borrowing legal. Before this letter was answered, the ordinance creating the new State of Kanawha 5 had been adopted, much to my regret, as it altered the complexion of affairs & deprived us of the aid & good will of Northern & European bond holders, who perceive that unless the State comes back entire into the Union, their property is gone, & who for the restoration of order there upon the old footing will contribute freely. But fortunately a section at the close of the ordinance not at first known to us, renders the formation of the new State quite improbable even if practicable & therefore we consider that the ordinance amounts to nothing & the Provisional Government stands where it did. Of the policy of restoring Virginia to the Union as it was, unquestionably the wish of a large majority of its citizens as is apparent by their vote at the last free election where they were able to express it, I need not speak to a statesman of your sagacity.6
With these preliminary remarks I have to say in conclusion that it is desirable for us to know, what aid or guaranty the U.S. Government can give to the proposed loan,7 & whether there is any authority of law permitting it to be done. If there is, we can raise the desired amount