War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 1046 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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I intend to return to New York to-morrow, leaving one of my staff here for a few days.

Soliciting your early decision in regard to the re-enforcement suggested from Elmira,

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Washington, D. C., November 16, 1863.

Captain C. TOWER,

Prov. March Tenth Dist. of Pennsylvania, Pottsville, Pa.:

CAPTAIN: I am directed by the Provost-Marshal-General to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 7th instant relative to the case of George K. Smith, who was murdered in his own house. In reply I am instructed to inform you that as this is a case of murder it comes within the jurisdiction of the civil authorities, who must attend to the case.

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


Captain, Sixteenth Infty., and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General


Washington, D. C., November 17, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Bureau of the Provost-Marshal-General of the United States, and of the Volunteer Recruiting Service, and the Invalid Corps. The act of March 3, 1863, for enrolling and calling out the national forces, is the first ever passed by Congress in which the Government has appealed directly to the citizens of the United States to create a large army without the intervention of the authorities of the respective States.

The main objects of the act may be stated in general terms as follows:

First. To enroll and hold liable to military duty the national forces.

Second. To call forth the national forces by draft, and assign the "persons so drafted" to military duty in corps, regiments, or other branches of the service.

Third. To secure the return of deserters and prevent desertion.

The duties required by the act were of vast extent, and the means were not sufficiently provided in detail by the law for securing the ends proposed. The executive officers created were a Provost- Marshal-General, with the rank of colonel, and a provost-marshal for each Congressional district, with the rank of captain. For the purpose of enrollment and draft the law provided that a board should be created in each district by uniting with the provost- marshal a surgeon and a civilian. This board had power to appoint persons to make the enrollment. No other means are designated by the law to carry out its purposes.

Regulations have been prepared which prescribed the details incident to the systematic execution of the law. It was important