PROVOST-MARSHAL" OFFICE, TENTH DIST. OF PA.,
Pottsville, June 16, 1863.
Colonel J. V. BOMFORD,
Actg. Asst. Prov. March General of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg:
DEAR SIR: I reply to your two letters, dated 12th and 15th instant respectively. I did not reply to the first one earlier because I was unable to do so.
I have enrolling officers at work in all my sub-districts except six, and the greater number of them will, I think, finish their work this week. In two of the six I have enrolling officers, but they are so threatened that they do not dare to begin their work without a military force to attend them. In the remaining four I have not been able yet to get any person to accept the office of enroller.
I learn from reliable sources that in some of these four meetings are held twice a week in opposition to the enrollment, and that the feeling against the enrollment is violent in them all. Several persons in these four to whom I have offered the enrolling have declined on the ground that their property would be destroyed and their lives be unsafe if they were to undertake it.
The number of men to be enrolled in these six sub-districts I estimate, from the enrollment made last fall, to be between 4,000 and 5,000.
I see no method of making these enrollments except to march through the sub-districts with a military force. The coal operators there who employ a great many men would, in most cases, aid us in giving a list of their men, but if they do this voluntarily they are in danger of having their breakers burned and machinery destroyed and being themselves killed. If we appear at their office doors and demand the lists, they will give them and furnish additional information to us too, such as we need, and those who intend to resist will be overawed.
Captain J. Orr Finnie has reported to me here this afternoon with fifty men. I am glad for these; but to make the campaign of these sub-districts safely I ought to have at least 200 more and two pieces of artillery.
The miners are organized and armed with guns and revolvers, and have appeared heretofore in large bodies, and give out that they can summon 1,500 to 2,000 men at a call, and will do so to prevent an enrollment and draft. If practicable to have such a force furnished me, please do so, and I will push the enrollment through with all possible haste.
Captain Finnie will hand you this. I will thank you to listen to his explanation in regard to the force I need here and supplies for it.
Very respectfully, yours,
[JUNE 18, 1863.- For correspondence relating to raising troops in Pennsylvania, see Couch to Stanton; Stanton to Couch; Stearns to Stanton; Stanton to Stearns; Stanton to Curtin; Moorhead to Lincoln; Lincoln to Moorhead; Brooks to Stanton, Series I, Vol. XXVII, Part III, pp. 203, 204.]