and if a regiment is reduced in number the men remaining have increased labor. There is a limited amount of money raised by the draft to be bestowed in bounties for procuring recruits. This money is not sufficient to procure recruits for the large number of incomplete new organizations scattered through the United States, and also procure recruits for old regiments. If it is used for the former purpose regiments in the field have the benefit of it? There would be but one voice from the Army on this question. It is to be remarked that the bounty for veterans is not touched by the late orders, and the veteran regiments, as the authority was originally granted, are not affected. The additional time and the additional latitude subsequently granted to take raw men into veteran regiments creates the claim now made that these raw men have increased bounty. If granted, another additional claim would doubtless soon follow, that all the raw men heretofore enlisted and now in any of the new and incomplete organizations throughout the Untied States should be paid the increased bounty for having gone into these new regiments. These applications have been made by several other States and have been declined (Michigan, Massachusetts, and others). The reasons given for them by the different States do not seem to be strong in themselves. In the case of Vermont, they have up to this time raised only between 200 and 300 men, and it is on account of these men that the request is made to have the plan of recruiting for old regiments abandoned, for that is wharesult in. In Maine they have commenced to raise two or three regiments. The case is quite similar in other States. It would be far better of the military purposes of the Government even to lose the services of these men than to abandon all chances of getting recruits for old regiments. But there is no reason why any veteran regiment should be lost. Let it go on filling up with veterans, and if there is more than one such regiment in process of organization, and if consolidation the new fragments at home than the old regiments in the face of the enemy. The co-operation of the State authorities alone is, in my opinion, necessary to raise many thousand recruits for old regiments during the next six weeks, and I most earnestly hope that it may not be wanting.
WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., October 17, 1863.
His Excellency J. GREGORY SMITH,
Governor of Vermont, Montpelier, Vt.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of October 12 by Mr. Holbrook, who also presented a letter from your adjutant-general on the subject of granting the same bounty to recruits for new regiments as is granted to recruits for old regiments. The subject presented had been under consideration, and my views upon it are contained in a report, a copy of which is inclosed.* I sincerely hope that Your Excellency will heartily aid in the effort to fill up and thus preserve the organization of the old regiments, even at the sacrifice of local interests involved in the raising of new ones. By filling up the old regiments the present Army will be kept in
*See inclosure to communication from Fry to Coburn, next ante.