War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0881 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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OFFICE ACTG. PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,

STATE OF NEW YORK, NORTHERN DIVISION,

Albany, October 13, 1863.

Colonel JAMES B. FRY,

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

SIR: We have just an interview with Governor Seymour, in presence of his quartermaster-general, Talcott, General Sprague, his adjutant-general, being absent. The Governor selects the alternation proposed by you for appointing the committees to designate recruiting agents, and seems fully to concur in this method of recruiting, saying he thinks it the best that occurs to him. We agree with him as to the propriety of making the new committees, the old ones being too numerous and too much scattered in each senate district to be made available. He will designate his members of the committees at once, and we can have this plan in operation with very little delay.

The Governor suggests that the high bounty offered for arrests of deserters will lead to a great many improper arrests, and suggests that there should be some commission or tribunal at the headquarters of the acting assistant provost-marshal-general of the State to examine arrested men so far as to see whether there was probable cause to detain them, and whether the bounty should be paid. We would propose that the Governor be allowed to appoint, without expense to the General Government, a person who, with the mustering and disbursing officer at the general rendezvous, should examine all cases where the party claimed as a deserter denied that he was such, with the understanding that where they agreed that the arrest was wrong the party might be discharged; and where they regarded to you and instructions given. This would prevent much clamor about improper arrests. With this provision it would seem we could have the earnest co- operation of the Governor in procuring recruits and arresting deserters.

The quartermaster-general of the State thinks it best that the clothing now in the hands of the provost-marshals be turned over to him and issued to volunteers at the general rendezvous; also that the transportation to the general rendezvous be furnished by him. About this we are indifferent. We would be pleased to be relieved from any duty that this officer would like to perform, provided you think it as well for the service.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. S. DIVEN,

Acting Assistant Provost-Marshal-General.

FREDK. TOWNSEND,

Major, U. S. Army, Acting Assistant Provost-Marshal-General.

BALTIMORE, October 13, 1863.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY:

SIR: On the 1st instant I receive a telegram in the following words:

Colonel BIRNEY:

Take care of colored troops in your charge, but do nothing further about that branch of affairs until further orders. Particularly do nothing about General Vickers, of Kent County.

A. LINCOLN.

56 R R-SERIES III, VOL III