Week of Oct 30 1861, Our Potomac Home Guard
For the Herald and Torch.
Our Potomac Home Guard
Hagerstown, Oct 25, 1861.
Messrs Editors :—
Immediately upon the announcement of the authority of the Secretary of War to raise four regiments for our Home Protection, the loyal citizens of Washington county responded with commendable patriotism to the great necessity of this provision, by enrolling themselves in large numbers at the headquarters at Frederick City and Cumberland, which until within the last two weeks were the only established places for the enlistment and subsistence of recruits. Now that we have head quarters for recruiting and subsistence at Hagerstown, all companies, or at least a goodly portion of them, recruited from Washington county, now in Frederick, should be transferred to the head quarters of their own county, and become a part of the 4th Regiment. The full fairness of this suggestion is clearly manifest from the fact that the 1st Regiment when it receives its required number will be exclusively assigned for duty to the county of Frederick. When those from Washington county were recruited it was under the assurance that the 1st regiment would be for the protection of Washington county, as well as for Frederick. Being now informed for the first time of the contrary, they naturally insist upon attaching themselves to the 4th Regiment, which is intended exclusively for Washington county, in which their homes, families and property are located. No species of justice would require a citizen to defend the fireside of his neighbor in preference to his own when both are equally endangered. The true spirit of self defence commands the soldiers of Washington county, first to fill up the ranks of the regiment assigned alone for the protection of their own county soil, and lastly that of their friends and neighbors, when that can be done consistently with the first laws of nature. The fact connected with the organization of the 1st regiment are not in high praise of the military ardor of the citizens of Frederick county. This regiment has within 150 of its full number, yet not more than 100 have been received from the Citizens of that county, and they are still recruiting, whilst seven companies consisting of 755 men have been recruited from this county by its citizens. Including this number at least 1500 have been mustered in the home and general service. This has made a heavy draught upon our people, and consequently subjects those now recruiting for the 4th to severe disadvantages, which furnishes strong additional reason for a prompt compliance with the above suggestion, especially so as we have a long, imperilled river border to protect, and Frederick has comparatively none.— Winter is rapidly approaching and if the river should be frozen the facilities of crossing to our midst would be so much enhanced that our safety would be at the merciless depreciations of the rebel marauders, unless our means of protection are adequate to repel the invasion.
Herald of Freedom & Torch Light
Washington County Free Library
Hagerstown (Md.), Newspapers; Maryland, History, Civil War, 1861-1865
Washington County (Md.), 1861-1865