Mr. Seward to Mr. Cameron.

No. 10.]

Sir: Your despatch of the 5th of August (No. 5) has been received. While it is entirely satisfactory, its contents are such as seem to call for no especial comment.

You will learn by the public journals that our two armies in Virginia, which were so long and so unfortunately separated, have been brought together at last in front of this capital, but not without a loss of some six thousand or eight thousand men, and, for the moment, the gathering of the insurrectionary forces on the Virginia side of the Potomac, seeming to threaten [Page 457] Maryland and even Pennsylvania. The insurgents have adopted equally bold and aggressive means in the west, and they give out that it is their purpose, although the Union forces are behind them, to subject Kentucky to their control, and they are even menacing Cincinnati. I refrain from giving a more detailed account of the military situation of the country, because it is certain that it must change before this despatch can reach you. I refrain also from explaining the causes of our recent disappointments and reverses, because, even if I should be able to make them satisfactorily known to yourself, they would, nevertheless, not be proper for communication to foreign powers, and they would, therefore, be unprofitable. In such an emergency as this the government feels that it is necessary to act for the future, and not to waste its time in reflecting upon what is past, and, therefore, irremediable. I must be content, therefore, with informing our representatives abroad that the exact condition of the country is fully understood by the government; that the armies of the United States are being rapidly reorganized and largely re-enforced; and that, while the military counsels of the President are, for the moment, not allowed to transpire, measures are being taken which, as it is believed, will be effectual in restoring the prestige of the national arms and prosecuting the war to a successful conclusion by the restoration of the federal authority throughout the Union.

It is to be expected that insurgent emissaries, encouraged by recent events, will be busy in attempting to instigate European governments to interference in some sort in our affairs. It is not apprehended that their treasonable efforts will be successful. Nevertheless, our representatives abroad will find it an important duty to be vigilant and to study the public mind of Europe, as far as possible, during the period of our preparations for a renewal of the auspicious fortunes of the country. None of them, it is believed, will find this task easier of performance than our representative at St. Petersburg, because the government of the Emperor is accustomed to see political events in their proper sequence, and is not at all liable to form inconsiderate judgments upon the result of a single and isolated battle or campaign. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Simon Cameron, Esq., &c., &c., &c.