War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0784 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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SEPTEMBER 10, 1863.

Whether drafted men who fail to report are to be considered as part of "the required number of able-bodied men liable to military duty."

Opinion.- The construction of the law as announced in Circular No. 80 is fully concurred in. Drafted men cannot be treated as a part of the "required number of able-bodied men" until they have been examined and found physically capable of military service. The expression "obtained from the list of those drafted" implies, first, that the persons referred to are in the possession of the Government; and secondly, that they have been found capable of and subject to perform military duty. This necessarily excludes from the computation deserters who have failed to report.

J. HOLT,

Judge-Advocate-General.

CIRCULAR.] OFFICE OF THE SIGNAL OFFICER,

Washington, September 10, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that there are now being sent to you, for the use of the officers of your command, cipher disks and instructions for their use. Hereafter all messages of any importance must be transmitted in cipher. There is evidence at this office that the enemy can read our messages sent in the usual manner with the common code, and it is enjoined upon every officer to see that the for this part, does not allow himself by ignorance or carelessness to become thus an informant of the enemy. With the strict observance of the cipher rules the interpretation of the signal is an absolute impossibility. Chief signal officers are charged that it is their most important duty to see that our ciphers are intelligently used by every officer of their command. Each disk will be numbered, and they will be issued to chief signal officers by their numbers, and these officers will in their turn issue to their subordinates by number, that the responsibility for the care of the disk may be always traced. An officer will allow anything to fall into the hands of an enemy in preference to this disks. The point of honor must be to keep inviolate this secret placed in his charge by the Government, and in case of capture it must at all hazards be destroyed before the enemy can obtain it. The officer must fell that he cannot exercise too great a care, and that his life must be risked rather than fail in this discharge of his duty.

By order of the Signal Officer of the Army:

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

HENRY S. TAFFT,

Captain and Signal Officer.

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, September 10, 1863.

PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL U. S. ARMY,

Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that with the aid of the statement received the 7th instant from the Governor of Ohio, in answer to a copy of the exhibit of June 10 sent him the 31st ultimo, I have re-examined our records and find that Ohio is entitled to a credit of 4,361 three-years" volunteers in addition to the number already reported to you. The troops represented by this number entered service prior to June 10, 1863, the date of the first exhibit. They