everything I can do to aid you in raising volunteers to avoid it shall be done. My business and desire is to get men for the Army, and if they can be secured without a draft, it is certainly best that we should not resort to that method of raising them.
In relation to the recruiting agents, my object was to enlist the services in that capacity of men of activity and influence, and especially acquainted with the matter of raising volunteers. On this account I particularly directed that the State authorities should be satisfied in reference to them. I thought it would be best to have a certain number in each district, and let it be profitable to them if they succeeded, so that they could devote their entire time and attention to it. This seemed to me better than to open it to everybody, on the principle that what is everybody's business is nobody's. If, however, you think it best to open it to all, or if you desire to have more, or if you think those selected unfit and should be discontinued, you can present an extract from this to Colonel Bomford to carry out your wishes.
Your letter to the President, and other things which have come to my knowledge, led me to suppose that Colonel Bomford does not fill his position to your entire satisfaction. Would it be more agreeable to you to have him replaced by Lieutenant Colonel John P. Sanderson, Fifteenth U. S. Infantry? He has been mentioned to me as a very capable officer.
I believe Major Gilbert gives satisfaction in Philadelphia. I shall be happy to receive your suggestions at any time, and to aid in carrying them out as far as possible, and my views in the matter of raising troops, whether by volunteering or drafting, are always at yam, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. FRY,
WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., December 15, 1863.
Major J. W. T. GARDINER, U. S. Army,
Actg. Asst. Prov. March General for Maine, Augusta, Me.:
MAJOR: The Provost-Marshal-General directs me to inform you that, in accordance with orders from the War Department, persons who establish the fact before boards of enrollment that they are conscientiously opposed to bearing arms and to paying the commutation money for exemption from draft, and that they belong to a religious society whose creed prohibits them to serve in the Army or to pay commutation money, shall when drafted be put on parole by the provost-marshal of the district in which they were drafted, to report when called for.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. D. RUGGLES,
(Similar letter sent to Brigadier-General Hinks, New Hampshire; Major Clarke, Massachusetts; Brigadier-General Hays and Major Diven, New York; Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan, New Jersey; Major Gilbert and Lieutenant-Colonel Bomford, Pennsylvania; Major Jeffries, Maryland; Lieutenant-Colonel Darr, West Virginia; Colonel Baker, Indiana; Lieutenant-Colonel Hill, Michigan; Lieutenant-Colonel Lovell, Wisconsin; Major Duncan, Iowa; Colonel Alexander, Missouri; Captain Clarke, Kansas.)