reasons for not approving these nominations, and my determination to approve no appointment of person for the recruiting service but men who had already served in the Pennsylvania Volunteers and had not been dishonorably discharged. I inclose you herewith copies of this correspondence with the provost-marshals.
In regard to the continuance of the power of the district provost-marshals to accept recruits, I desire that if it be continued they may forward them directly to the Army, as I do not desire to be placed in a position which might and probably would lead to the embarrassment of the public service. I have never been consulted, nor have my nominations at any time been approved, in regard to the selection of any officer of the United States sent to this State, except district provost-marshals, and in that case only three of the persons whom I approved were appointed; and I am bound to say that many of the district provost-marshals, as well as recruiting agents, are not persons on whom I should rely for good service to the United States.
I would further observe that the delay of your reply to my letter (the cause of which I sincerely regret) has brought us so near to the 5th of January that I much fear that little can be done in raising volunteers if the new draft is to be then gone on with. Still, I will proceed under the authority now given and do what I can.
You will perceive that Colonel Fry refers to plans approved for other States, copies of which were sent to this State. This is so, but in my opinion the plan which I submitted to you under date of 24th November last, as preferred by me, would have been greatly more effectual than the alternative suggestions which you have adopted, and I thought it my duty to present it for your approbation, which I regret much that it has not received.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. G. CURTIN.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SUSQUEHANNA, Chambersburg, Pa., December 10, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I respectfully state that I recently met at Reading, Pa., a committee of the coal men of Lehigh Valley. Everything is working excellently in that district, some of the worst characters having been arrested by General Sigel; others have fled from that region, and the operators are again getting their mines under proper control. So soon as the other two anthracite districts, viz, Schuylkill and Wyoming, agree to certain propositions the bad characters will be cleared out of the country. The supply of coal increased with less number of miners, and matters will probably resume the quiet of before the war.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. N. COUCH,
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, December 11, 1863.
General J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
Please come to see me at once.