War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0564 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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made as bad as it can be. The Government is losing both the men and the money. Can nothing be done to correct this? I hold that the Provost-Marshal-General's construction of the law is wrong, for according to the law the $300 are equivalent to a substitute, inasmuch as the money is paid "for the procuration of a substitute."

Second. Our provost-marshal has just been ordered to retain every man from the moment when he reports or appears for examination (if accepted), and keep him under guard until he is sent to the rendezvous. The motive of this order is right, but its operation is bad and extremely offensive to our people. Those who cannot be trusted should be retained; but most of those drafted in this district will not in any case run away. The provost-marshal has the means of knowing whom he can trust, and he ought to be allowed to use some discretion in this matter of retaining men. A respectable and reliable man came here to-day from a town twenty miles distant, not knowing of the order, and to-night he is shut up under guard with the substitutes. His notification did not require him to report before the 10th of August. He came now, not dreaming that he would not be allowed to return to his family. I need not tell you that such things greatly disturb the feeling of the people. They are deemed unjust and tyrannical. If half our people were copperheads we should probably have a riot. Some of our best, truest, and most influential men have in my office to- day denounced the order in the most unmeasured terms. Of course they would not do the same thing on the street; but they entreat me to write to you on the subject. While the draft should be rigidly enforced, it seems to me that the matter should be so managed as to conciliate rather than provoke.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Representative of the 8th Massachusetts Congressional District.


Washington City, July 24, 1863.


Jackson, Mich.:

GOVERNOR: H. Barnes, esq., of Detroit, has applied to this Department for authority to raise a regiment of colored troops in your State. The Department is very anxious that such regiments should be raised, and authorizes you to raise them, by volunteering under the regulations of the Department, a copy of which is directed to be transmitted to you by the chief of the Bureau, and it would be gratifying if you should give such authority to Mr. Barnes. It seems that there has been some misunderstanding upon this subject, and I am informed that you were under the impression that the Department would not authorize it. Until suitable arrangements could be made for the organization of a bureau it was not deemed advisable to raise such troops, but the organization of colored troops is now a distinct bureau in the Department, and as fully organized as any other branch of the military service, and every encouragement is given by the Department to the raising of such troops.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Secretary of War.