War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 1168 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

another recruiting office at Portsmouth. I did ask that Doctor Thayer, of the Fourteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, might be detailed for that purpose, which was done; yet no moves have been made to remedy the evil complained of, and I am harassed early and late by the selectmen and recruiting officers of the several towns in the First Congressional District, who say that they cannot raise their quota for the reason that Captain Godfrey is so arbitrary in his orders and so offensive in his manners as to prevent them from enlisting men. General Hinks knows this to be a fact and so does the Honorable John P. Hale, for I am informed that he has been written the repeatedly on the subject, and that a petition from some thirty or forty towns in said district, signed by the most influential men in said towns, has recently been forwarded to him, asking for Captain Godfrey's removal. Now in regard to the Second Congressional District, Captain Colby, provost-marshal, is a first rate man for the position he occupies. He is popular with the people of our State, and his mode of confuting the business of his office has tended to conciliate men of all parties, as will be seen by the fact that more men have been recruited in his district than in both of the others combined. But he is constantly annoyed with conflicting orders relating even to the internal management of his office, which he regards, and in my opinion justly, as an unwarrantable interference with his position as provost-marshal and which tends to retard the business of recruiting. Now, I learn indirectly that rooms have been engaged and a new recruiting office is to be established in this the Second District under the direction of General Hinks, and this, too, without consulting or even notifying the State authorities. The proposition made by General Hinks to myself and council was to request a good surgeon to be detailed for the purpose of examining recruits, and he (General Hinks) would establish a recruiting office at Portsmouth. The Second District needs no additional office, as the marshal, Captain Colby, has recruited and mustered into service (as I have already stated) more men than the other two combined. In establishing an extra recruiting office in the Second District instead of the First, from which nearly all complaints of our people have arisen, the remedy sought cannot be obtained and the wishes of our citizens as well as of our State government are entirely ignored. In your letter of October 18 you say:

The provost-marshal-general of your State and the boards of enrollment in the different districts will give you all the aid in their power in this and all matters connected with raising troops.

You also say in your telegram of the 12th instant:

I believe the only power the Government now exercises in the matter of raising volunteers called for from New Hampshire is to muster them in and pay them. The Government has endeavored to do everything that Your Excellency desired to enable you to raise your quota.

If such is your understanding and I have the power that your telegram states it is all that I desire. I believe, as you say, that the Government has been and still is ready to do everything that they should do to enable us to raise our quota, and for that reason I telegraphed to you. The troubles which have mostly been confined in the First District I think now are spreading into the Second, and for the reasons which I have before stated. I am aware that men are unreasonable, but I think Government officers should understand the trouble in raising men, especially in such a State as New Hampshire (when nearly half are copperheads), and do all that can be fairly done to