War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0565 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Concord, July 24, 1863.

Colonel J. B. FRY,

provost-Marshal-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report upon the subject of drafting in this State:

The decision of the Solicitor of the War Department upon the question submitted by the State authorities has not been received, consequently the drafting has not commenced.

The several provost-marshals have been perfecting their arrangements to proceed with the draft when ordered.

The State and municipal authorities have also taken steps to keep the peace, but the means at the disposal of the Governor are entirely inadequate should any real disturbance take place. I understand the only organizations under his control are four volunteer companies in different parts of the State, and these very small.

In the large towns special policemen are being employed.

I hear much said about resistance to the draft, but I do not apprehend any serious disturbances at the places and time of drafting, except in Portsmouth, where there may be more trouble, and I would therefore respectfully recommend that an additional force be ordered there.

There is one company of artillery at the fort just mustered into service. It is not deemed prudent to take all the men away from the fort. The force of marines is very small at the navy-yard, and they are needed as a guard there in case of a riot in the city. So, as a prudential measure I think it would be well to have a larger force at Portsmouth.

The trouble that I apprehend is in serving the notices on the drafted men. The provost-marshals in the First and Second Districts have informed me that there is a secret organization in the upper part of the State to prevent these notices being served.

The sale of firearms, particularly of revolvers, has been very large lately all over the State; at least it is so reported. This is significant of bad feeling and probably of bad action.

I am confident that the notifying officers will absolutely need a party with them for their own protection in many localities. Mounted men would be the most suitable. I respectfully call your attention to this matter and ask for instructions.

Governor Gilmore and Captain Godfrey, provost-marshal First District, both think I do not attach sufficient importance to the threatening aspect of affairs here. Although I am aware that there is intense hostility in this State to the present Administration, amounting almost to open rebellion in some localities, yet I think the atrocities committed by the mob in New York have shocked even the leaders and instigators of the opposition throughout the land, and that they will thrown the weight of their influence on the side of law and order for their own safely and prevent any large or very serious outbreaks. But some of the malcontents will probably give trouble to the notifying officers.

I inclose a copy of a letter from Captain Pike, provost-marshal Third District, relating to the performances in Sunapee, N. H. I. have sent a copy to Governor Gilmore.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Aide-de-Camp, Actg. Asst. Provost-Marshal-General.