War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 1101 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

These gentlemen visit Washington at the request of Governor Seymour. They are all unconditional Union men and earnest supporters of the Administration. They desire to consult the Government in relation to raising the number of volunteers called for by the President from this State, in the hope of being able to furnish the number required and thereby render drafting unnecessary. They will present:

First. The desirability of apportioning quotas to each town in the several Congressional districts, the towns furnishing their proportion to be exempt from draft.

Second. The propriety of the same bounties and privileges being offered by the Government to volunteers who enlist in the new regiments which are already in process of organization in the State and authority being given for their completion.

Third. The question of consolidating companies of regiments in the field, permitting officers, who might thereby be rendered supernumerary, to remain in the service and sending them home to recruit new companies in the localities in which their regiments were raised to be attached thereto, thereby filling up and perpetuating the existence of old regiments.

In commending these gentlemen to you I desire to add that the propositions above set forth appear to me reasonable and, if not regarded as inconsistent with the interests of the public service, I hope the Government will favorably consider the suggestions.

I am, with much respect, very truly, yours,




Harrisburg, November 28, 1863

Colonel JAMES B. FRY, U. S. Army,

Provost-Marshal-General of United States:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in compliance with your communication of the 10th instant I have had an interview with Governor Curtin in relation to the subject-matter referred to.

In consequence of the almost continual absence of the Governor, and his being occupied with other matters when at home the interview was greatly delayed.

The Governor proposes an entire new plan for recruiting in this States, which plan is substantially as follows: The present Pennsylvania regiments in the field numbering less than 500, rank and file, to be consolidated, the retiring officers-colonels, lieutenant-colonels, majors, captains, and lieutenants-to retain their commissions and to be immediately detailed as recruiting officers to recruit new regiments under the immediate auspices of the Governor, who volunteers to cause reports to be regularly made to this office.

The reasons urged by the Governor in favor of his plan were:

First. The recruiting interest would thereby be placed in more responsible hands.

Second. The people would more readily enlist at the instance of men of experience in the field who had themselves experienced the hazards of battle.

Third. Expense would be saved, as the recruiting officers under his system would only receive their fixed salaries, and at the same time no injustice done to these officers retired for the recruiting service.