depended on stopping any further recruiting by any one but myself, and holding on to all who had not, in fact, gone out of the district. I permitted recruits to go to General Heth's corps, because he would be engaged in defending the same country in a degree that I should look to, and it made no difference to which of us the volunteers went. Accordingly, while we were together at Wytheville, I sent 20 men to his command; he has sent to mine such as wished to come here from his quarter. I left to him the whole county of Bland (composed of parts of Tazewell, Wythe, and Mercer), though it was mostly in my boundary. I think I have been observant of the public interest in all my steps. I know I have tried to be so, and I have suffered the men to volunteer and go as they pleased until I saw that my object must fail, and that I must be unable to protect any part of the district if no limit was placed on these removals.
Your letter, countervailing my policy and orders, will be strictly obeyed, and I shall take pains to let the people know that volunteers may go where they prefer within the limitations suggested by your letter. If the new regiments can be made, I hope they will be permitted; if they cannot, of course they must be abandoned, and the body of volunteers composing them will be disposed of according to the pleasure of the head of the army.
Pardon the liberty I take in remarking that in my judgment great dissatisfaction will be given when the transfers shall be made and this section shall find itself without defenders. It was my purpose to organize four militia regiments in my district as a reserved force, each as nearly 1,000 men as practicable. The conscript bill having passed, it was plain the provisions of that bill would affect the organization of militia companies already established by me. Assuming from the language of the bill that a registry of ages must precede any draft from the militia, I issued the order to my militia captains of which I inclose you a copy. I will ascertain from their returns approximately the number of men liable as conscripts in my district, and it can be done directly.
I should like to know if bounties to volunteers will be paid under any circumstances hereafter?
It seems to me it would have greatly facilitated the creation of force could the Government, with one agency, be using compulsory process to raise force, while at the same time it offered bounty of $50 to all who would enter as volunteers for the war. I believe, if the acts taken together will admit of such a construction, I could fill my contemplated regiments to the maximum standard. Will you please ascertain what construction is placed upon the bounty act and conscript act, taken together, and let me know by telegraph immediately?
I have been frequently asked whether bounties would yet be paid to new volunteers who have not been in the service, and I have replied that I thought they would not. Your reply can be, "They are" or "They are not," and I will comprehend the answer to refer to the question whether bounties are or are not yet paid to volunteers enlisting for the war. I know they are still paid to all re-enlisting, and this because they are obliged to serve whether they wish to do so or not.
I shall ascertain from the returns called for by my order the number of militia between eighteen and thirty-five years of age; also the number between thirty-five and forty-five.
In my judgment the workers in niter and in the various mechanic arts necessary to the community should be taken as far as possible from men over thirty-five, so as to leave for the active disposable