War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0606 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

of the regimental commanders. These nominations will be founded upon the recommendation of the candidate by a regimental board of officers, to consist of the three officers present next in rank to the commander of the regiment. The names of candidates so recommended and nominated to the chief of the Bureau of Cavalry will be submitted by him to the Secretary of War for appointment. A record of the appointments so made shall be kept in the Adjutant-General's Office.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CIRCULAR

WAR DEPT., PROV., March GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 61.

Washington, D. C., August 1, 1863.

The following opinions of Colonel Joseph Holt, Judge-Advocate- General of the Army, are published for the information and guidance of all; officers of this Bureau:

The only son of aged and infirm parent or parents-exemption.

Opinion.-The only son of aged or infirm parent or parents is not exempt unless his parent or parents are depended on hi labor for their support. If he is in a condition to support, and does support them without his personal labor for that purpose, he is subject to draft, because he is in a condition to perform military service without depriving his parents of the support the law designs to secure to them. The parents need not be wholly dependent on the labor of their son for support. If they are so dependent for the principal part of their support the right to exemption arises.

In the case of a widow having four sons.

Opinion.-In case of a widow having four sons, three of whom are already in the military service, the fourth is exempt, provided his mother is dependent on his labor for support.

In the case of a widow having two sons, one of whom is already in the military service.

Opinion.-In the case of widow having two sons, one of whim is already in the military service, and the other has been drafted, the latter is exempt as "the only son liable to military duty," in the sense of the act.

In the case of aged or infirm parents having tow or more sons subject to military duty.

Opinion.-In the case of aged or infirm parents having two or more sons subject to military duty, election of the son to be exempted must be made before the draft, and his name should not then appear in the draft box. If one of only two sons of such parents is already in the military service, the other is exempt, provided his parents are dependent on his labor for their support.

Of persons having conscientious scruples in regard to bearing arms.

Opinion.-Persons having conscientious scruples in regard to bearing arms are not on that account exempt. They are not found in the list of exempted classes, land the act expressly declares that no persons but those enumerated in that list shall be exempt. The Society of Friends, and others entertaining similar sentiments, if drafted, may find relief from their scruples in the employment of substitutes, or in the payment of the $300.

Of a man whose wife is insane.

Opinion.-The children of an insane mother, who may at any time recover her reason cannot in the sense of the law, or with any propriety of language, be termed "motherless children." The father or such, though they may be dependent on his labor for their support, cannot therefore claim exemption from the draft. The case is hard one, and would, probably, have been provided for had it been foreseen. It is, however, the law as it is, and not as it may be supposed it ought to be, that is to be enforced.