reliable information. On the 24th instant I telegraphed you with reference to printing the enrollment lists as required by Circular, Numbers 101, of 1863. I asked for instructions on this point on January 13 by telegraph, again on March 29, and also by letter of January 30. I did not authorize the printing of the would be very great, and I did not see how the corrections of the lists could be made satisfactorily. In the first place the districts are very large. The population of the State and of the different districts is constantly changing; the discovery of new mines, or the failure of old ones, the abundance of rain or the dryness of different localities causes the change of whole communities. A town will being full operation one day and deserted the next. The difficulty of obtaining reliable enrolling officers at any price, and of getting any at all at present rates, the difficulty of traveling in the thinly settled districts, and in fact, a thousand difficulties arein the way of making the enrollment correct. I have thought that it was not intended to draft in this State. I do not think it would prove efficient, as it would take more men to bring in the deserters than we have force. Men can be obtained without a draft, and the great probabilities are that it could not be enforced, consequently I have thought it would be better not to expend large sums in making a careful correction as it would be better to hear causes of exemption after notification of draft, if one should take place, and if not, make such corrections as we may be able to do frmo the limited means at our disposal, and only rely on the new enrollment next year for a more complete list. You will oblige me by giving full instructions with reference to this coast. I think the number of deputies should be increased to at least four each district. The authority should be given for payments to be made on contracts, &c., on their approval here, instead of having to wait until we hear from Washington, keeping parties oy for at least sixty days. That all contracts, salaries, &c., should be at fixed rates in gold, payments to be made in legal tenders, taking their market value on the day payment is made.
Since writing the above I have received your telegram with reference to printing, &c., and will carry out the instructions as fully as practicable.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO S. MASON,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Acting Assistant Provost-Marshal-General, California and Nevada.
Washington, D. C., September 29, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Major-General McDowell, commanding Department of the Pacific, at San Francisco, Cal.
JAMES B. FRY,
STOCKTON, September 3, 1864.
DEAR SIR: I have but a moment to write before closing of mail and can only say that we have information from several different sources that there are from 60 to 100 armed men encamped on the west side of