HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
September 11, 1863.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: As it frequently happens that, through favoritism or other cause, officers and soldiers in the volunteer service are nominated for promotion and appointment who are deficient in the qualifications necessary to enable them to discharge efficiently the duties of the positions for which they are recommended, I have though that the evil might, at any rate, be partially remedied by requiring all such nominations, before being sent forward to the Governors of States, to be submitted to a board, to the end that an examination may be had into the character and qualifications of the individuals nominated, and I have the honor to inclose the project of a general order, which if it meets with the approval of the General-in-Chief, I will publish for the guidance of this army.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. G. MEADE,
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Numbers -.
September 10, 1863.
I. To the end that Governors of States may have reliable information concerning the qualifications of the officers and soldiers from time to time recommended to them for promotion and appointment, it is ordered that in each division or independent brigade a Board, composed of three experienced, officers and a recorder, be appointed by the commander thereof, as occasion may require, to examine into and report, upon the character and qualifications of all officers and soldiers, within their commands, who may be nominated for promotion or appointment in the regiments and batteries of the volunteer service.
The Boards thus constituted will make written reports in each case, giving their opinion upon the merits of the officers and soldiers examined, and forward the same, through the usual channel of correspondence, to the War Department for reference to the Governor of the State concerned.
Commanders of regiments and batteries will promptly make nominations to supply vacancies in their respective commands that, under General Orders, Nos. 86 and 182, of 1863, from the War Department, are authorized to be filled, and such nominations will be laid before a Board, constituted as above directed, with as little delay as practicable, and will accompany the report of the Board.
II. In cases not provided for in the foregoing paragraph, special Boards will be appointed by corps commanders, the chief of artillery, or at these headquarters.
III. All direct correspondence with the Governors of States, making nominations for appointments in the volunteer service, is strictly prohibited. Such communications, like all others of a military character, will be forwarded through the channel prescribed by the Regulations.
By command of Major-General Meade: