THE VETERANS VOLUNTEER FOR A NEW WAR
AND now above the babel-sounds of Washington, there is a distant rumble as of drum-beats! Like the fitful undefined motif in some great orchestration, there could be now and then discerned the clamor of a new instrument, vague at first and then clear and still more clear, the note is bugle-like. And are those drums or marching feet, or both? Lincoln had found his volunteers, Johnson too, could have them! He did not need to call! From every corner of the United States Union soldiers were offering to defend him. The White House mails were deluged with appeals for this new opportunity to serve!
From New York, John Burleigh wrote: "Being one of those who were first to leave this state in 1861, for the defense of the constitution, and in view of difficulties that may exist, and peril that may environ you; likewise believing that you are the Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy; I beg leave to offer my services toward raising a regiment of infantry to be ready for the field in forty-eight hours after authority to organize the same. . . ."1
From far off Omaha, James Hannan sent the President this letter: "I take the liberty to offer you the services of 75 good men as a personal body guard, all of whom are ready to give their lives in the cause of liberty and protection of the respected Chief Magistrate of the nation. . . ."2 While down from Charlestown, Massachusetts, came this offer from George Walsh: "Old Bunker Hill sends you greeting. I helped to raise one regiment for President Polk against the wishes of Massachusetts and went out with it to Mexico. If necessary I can raise ten regiments for Andrew Johnson, our noble and staunch defender of the Constitution."3