Chester A. Arthur Seeks to Raise 25,000 Additional New York State Troops for Service in the Civil War

As chief aide to Governor Morgan, he advises that expenditures for this must be approved by U.S. Secretary of War, Edwin M.. Stanton

Chester A. Arthur was much admired by New York Governor Edwin Morgan. Arthur was made Engineer in Chief of the New York Militia and held that post when the Civil War broke out. In April 1862 was appointed Inspector General succeeding Marsena R. Patrick, who left for active service. Patrick’s brigade would...

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Chester A. Arthur Seeks to Raise 25,000 Additional New York State Troops for Service in the Civil War

As chief aide to Governor Morgan, he advises that expenditures for this must be approved by U.S. Secretary of War, Edwin M.. Stanton

Chester A. Arthur was much admired by New York Governor Edwin Morgan. Arthur was made Engineer in Chief of the New York Militia and held that post when the Civil War broke out. In April 1862 was appointed Inspector General succeeding Marsena R. Patrick, who left for active service. Patrick’s brigade would soon see action at Antietam. In July 1862 Morgan appointed Arthur Quartermaster General succeeding Cuyler Van Vechten who in turn succeeded him as Inspector General.

During this time Arthur was with Morgan when they traveled in the South in the Spring of 1862 to inspect New York troops. Arthur transferred his department’s headquarters to New York City. He improved the enlistment procedure and treatment of recruits by establishing district camps. All new recruits immediately received uniforms and were introduced to discipline. Quartermasters were assigned to all regiments, and were required to come to New York City to receive instruction in the technicalities of their position. In 1871 Governor Morgan would recall: “During the first two years of the Rebellion he was my chief reliance in the duties of equipping and transporting of troops and munitions of war. In the position of Quartermaster General he displayed not only executive ability and unbending integrity, but great knowledge of Army regulations.”In the last four months of 1862 Arthur and his department completely clothed, and equipped, over seventy regimental-sized units.

Letter Signed, on letterhead of the State of New York Quartermaster General’s Department, 2 pages, New York, July 31, 1861, to Inspector General Cuyler Van Vechten, speaking of organizing twenty five regiments for the war, and advising him that expenditures must await approval of Secretary of War, Edwin M.. Stanton. “I saw General [Marsena R.] Patrick in relation to writing letter to you fixing pay of the State staff. He said he would prefer not to write you the letter proposed, but that he would obtain from the Governor an official letter to the Adjutant General settling the point. As to the other letter, of authority from the Governor to you, that need not and should not be written until the Governor himself has received authority from the Secretary of War, to incur all the expenditure contingent upon the organization of the twenty five regiments. General [William Henry] Anthon [then Judge Advocate General of the N.Y. Militia] has gone to Washington to obtain this and have all the details arranged.

“For every expenditure made by you in the meantime, you will of course get the authority from the Governor in each case. I shall be in Albany again on Sunday or Monday when we will talk the matter over, with some more definite information. Please send to me by return mail a copy of your pay account against the state which you showed me on Monday. I shall go up armed and equipped with my bill and shall expect you to be prepared with funds to meet it. Our pressure for quarters has commenced already. I presume however you are undisturbed as yet. The package of books came safely this morning. Many thanks.”

These offices were Arthur’s first stepping stones to the presidency.

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