“THERE WAS A GREAT STAMPEDE IN THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY ABOUT THE REBELS COMING ON…YET…NOT A MAN COULD BE OBTAINED TO VOLUNTEER…I BELIEVE THAT NOTHING BUT A SEVERE AND SPEEDY DRAFT WILL SAVE US.”
FRANKLIN, WILLIAM BUEL. (1823-1903). Civil War General. Autograph Letter Signed, “W.B. Franklin”. Four full pages, octavo. York Run, June 19, 1863. Very fine condition. To “My dear Baldy” [Union General WILLIAM F. SMITH]. Franklin writes:
“I received your letter on Monday and immediately wrote Cowen. Yesterday I had a note from him in which he stated that he did not think that the Dept. would let you come to him. Whether he meant by this that the Dept. would consider his business too small to warrant the appointment of another General officer to assist him in it, or whether he thought that you would be objectionable to the Dept., I could not make out. In writing to him I also offered my services, for which he was obliged. The Governor business was a failure. The strongest candidate gave his strength to Judge Woodward, and by that means nominated him. I could have got the same strength by promises of patronage and bribes, but I utterly refused to make any pledge or authorize anything to be done in my name that I was not willing to do myself. I think I shall go on to New York soon. There was a great stampede in this part of the County about the rebels coming on. Yet at its height, not a man could be obtained to volunteer. They were determined to surrender the town. I never knew anything so disgraceful. The fact is, the people feel that the state authorities and the General Government had virtually given up all of the River South of the Susquehanna. Our Brigade and a battery sent to Harrisburg from Hooker of Heintzelman, last Sunday, would have stopped all this alarm and panic which has come over the South from Harrisburg. People now begin to think that part of the alarm was due to the advice of the Administration to fool the people into another stint [at] volunteering. I believe that nothing but a severe and speedy draft will save us. Let it be made first where there is not much danger of resistance, and then let it be enforced where there is a danger, and the very men who are drafted will be the best to enforce It in the disaffected districts. Truly your friend, W.B. Franklin”.
Just superb civil war related content.