raised and not assigned to other officers for another purpose, and you offered to assign me Colonel Jones' regiment. You also said that an Irish regiment, now being raised, you would like to be assigned to me. To that I assented, and left for the purpose of organizing recruiting in Maine, and from thence to Washington. On my return I find that the recruiting officers have been making publications injurious to me and the recruiting service, so that it becomes necessary to know what exactly is understood between us.
Two weeks have passed and now these regiments are not full. The allegations of men are that they will not serve under some of the officers which have been appointed. I desire, therefore, the simple announcement by general order that I have authority to enlist men for a regiment, to be numbered as you please, also a squadron of mounted men, these troops to be a part of the volunteers force of the State. These to be in addition to those already assigned by you. If you choose, however, to recall the Irish regiment assigned me, I shall have no objections. I should be glad to keep it, but I should be unjust to others if I did so, to the exclusion of a new regiment. That being done, I see no difficulty in the way of filling up all these regiment at once, save this one.
A most vicious practice has arisen here, as it seems to me, of captains or other recruiting officers offering private bounties for me of $5 and $7. This amounts, in fact, to the sale of men by the recruiting officers to the captain who has the most money to fill up his company. The men hold off from enlisting for a higher bid, and so the deriving but poor officer gets no men to enlist, and the whole recruitment is demoralized. This bounty can only be got from the officers, and it amounts to the British system of buying commissions in its worst form. I will not tolerate it where I have the authority so to do, and I would respectfully suggest its evil tendency in others.
I trusons and this course, which will allow those patriotic persons who have done me the honor to inform me of their desire to enlist in the service of the country, to serve under my command in preference to another, the opportunity of so enlisting, while others of different preferences will have an opportunity to gratify their desires, and both classes will thus be brought at once into the field where they are so much needed. At Your Excellency's request, I have put this matter in writing to prevet possible misunderstanding.
With sentiments of the highest respect, I am, most truly, yours,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
(Copy of Major-General Butler's enlistment papers.)
U. S. Volunteers' enlistment list.
We, the undersigned, by our signatures hereto, do hereby severally agree to serve for a period of three years from the date of our enlistment in the U. S. service, or during the war, unless sooner discharged, as volunteers in the force called for by the President in his proclamation of May 3, 1861, in accordance with the terms of said proclamation and under the organization set forth in general orders from the War Department and from the Adjutant-General's Office; and if ordered into camp and our number is not filled up to the minimum number of men on or before the 20th day of October, we severally agree to serve in the companies to which we may be severally assigned. Enlisted men are entitled to pay, subsistence, clothing, and quarters from the term of their enlistment. Pay, $13 per month. A bounty of $100 upon being honorably discharged at the end of the war.