War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0236 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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referring to the present inexperience of enforcing in West Virginia the enrollment act. I am promised others on the subject which will be duly forwarded when received.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Acting Assistant Provost-Marshal-General.


Tell Major D. that I do not think his action wise in inviting this discussion. The organization of the State under the enrollment act and the enrollment (which is taking the census of the fighting men) does not prove that a draft will be made. It is procuring information necessary to the Government for future military purposes, and a draft may or may not follow it. It is certain no draft will be made without giving every State due credit for all the men it has furnished. Tell him to secure recommendations from the leading men in each district for a provost-marshal, commissioner, and surgeon in each, with a view to organizing boards of enrollment under the law.

J. B. F.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.] THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, EXECUTIVE DEPT. Wheeling, May 28, 1863.


Major and Military Commandant, Wheeling, Va.;

Yours of the 26th instant did not reach me until this morning by reason of a mistake of the messenger.

You ask my opinion as to the expedience of enforcing the "Act for calling out and enrolling the national forces" in West Virginia.

I am of opinion the public interests would be subserved by a non-enforcement of the act aforesaid for the following reasons:

First. West Virginia has contributed some four or five regiments more than her quota under the previous calls of the President.

Second. This contribution has been heavier on her loyal men because of the disloyal element therein, all of whom were included in the basis estimate upon which the calls were made.

Third. Full 50 per cent, of her fighting men are now in defense of the Government either as U. S. volunteers or State companies.

Fourth. A conscription would result in adding to the Confederate forces as many persons as our Army would gain in West Virginia.

Fifth. The male population of West Virginia if further withdrawn from agricultural pursuits, will prevent subsistence from being raised therein for the inhabitants, the production having already reached the minimum necessary for that purpose.

Sixth. The roving bands of guerrillas, thieves, and plunderers would be able to carry on their business more successfully in the same ratio that the owners of property are withdrawn from this protection.

Seventh. The share of West Virginia, can be raised by volunteers if they are permitted by the terms of their enlistment to remainin the State while the war is waged therein.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Adjutant-General Virginia.