extent, by an appeal to their local and town pride as well as to their patriotism and a call upon them to raise their portion of the quota of the State. While the U. S. recruiting officers usually can only act upon the recruit himself, the State officers can both act upon the recruit directly and also bring to bear upon him the influence of his local and town officers.
If it is understood that the regiments which we have been so long endeavoring to raise are given up, town officers will lost their immediate and direct interest in the work of raising troops and the service must suffer. The State has already incurred a very large expense for the personal services of these recruiting officers, which will be lost entirely if the raising of these organizations should fail. I understand, of course, that you have no present intent to produce a failure of the raising of these regiments. But the experiment of attempting to raise them from a particular class has been faithfully tried and has failed; and, therefore, if the recruiting officers are still confined to that class the raising of the regiments will undoubtedly fail.
In the course of the next season eight regiments of Vermont troops will be mustered out of service. There should be some new organizations to take their places. You will therefore perceive that in the present condition of the service in this State I regard it as being of as much importance to complete the filling of the regiments now authorized as to fill the old regiments. We want the old regiments filled, because raw recruits placed there will be able at once to do the work of veterans. We want the new regiments filled, because thereby we shall be able to promote and increase the recruiting service in this State and bring to bear upon it agencies which cannot otherwise be secured, and without which the entire recruiting service must suffer.
I therefore advise and most earnestly request that the officers of the State be authorized untyts for the veteran regiments now raising in this State who have not served or who have served less than nine months. And I desire that this authority may be forwarded at once to His Excellency J. Gregory Smith, Governor of the State, at Montpelier, by telegraph. The service is just now in that condition here that every day is of value. The harvest is just finished; town officers are putting themselves to work to raise men; a healthy spirit of excitement is beginning to pervade the State; public meetings upon the subject are being held in towns and school districts; recruiting officers are becoming hopeful, and just that spirit is being aroused which will enable us, if be properly dealt by and fostered, to fill both the new and the old regiments by voluntary enlistment.
I ask your immediate and careful attention to these matters, as I regard your action as of the highest importance. If the bounty is offered as requested, the recruiting service must and will prove successful in all its branches; if refused, the new regiments must fail, discouragement will pervade all classes interested in the work of raising them. This will react upon those who should enlist into the old regiments and who otherwise would do so, and the result will be the failure of the attempt to raise men except by a compulsory draft upon a new law which shall be so framed as to secure the raising of men instead of money.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
PETER T. WASHBURN,
Adjutant and Inspector-General.