War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 1188 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

all persons having business with you may see you, or your representative, without intruding into or passing through the rooms set apart for the use of the employes of the office;" that "loud conversation and discussions will not be permitted in the rooms appertaining to your (his) office," &c. Now, these regulations may all be very well, but the provost-marshal supposed that he had something to do in regard to the mode of conducting the business in his office and in managing its details. He supposed that he was quite competent to decide when and how and in what room persons having business with him could see him without impertinent direction from any one. Of course, when twenty or thirty recruits daily, and on some days more than this, are being put in with selectmen and agents of towns present looking after their various interests, some "noise and confusion" must necessarily ensue; but the result at his office shows that its legitimate business has not on this account been retarded; and the provost-marshal himself, being the person most annoyed by any "loud conversation" or other noise in his rooms, felt that he might very properly be the judge as to how far this should be allowed, especially as he knew quite as well as officers from without the State what common courtesy and the temper of our people required. Governor Colby is a gentleman of education and experience, and would naturally feel annoyed at any ostentatious display of authority over him in matters about which he knew quite as much as those undertaking to supervise him. Again, on the 7th instant, on account of a slight variance between the muster-rolls and the weekly and tri-monthly reports of the provost-marshal, the muster-rolls showing 543 men and the weekly and tri-monthly showing but 542-an error that required but a few moments" time to correct-an order was issued by General Hinks to the provost-marshal suspending all recruiting, and this at a time when the office was full of recruits, and the towns by their agents in waiting, anxious that their quotas should be filled as speedily as possible. This was the particular order that occasioned my first dispatch to you asking that the business of recruiting might not be interfered with by unnecessary orders when the Government and the loyal people of our State and the provost-marshal were straining every nerve to obey the call of the President and fill our quota before the 5th of January. I have no personal hostility to General Hinks. I do not know that it is necessary that be should be removed; I only ask that he be required to consult and co-operate with me as Governor of the State, as is the evident intention of the General Government that he should. I desire that we may be allowed to exercise a small degree of common sense in the matter of raising our men, and not have the business retarded by the officiousness of any one. I would also add here that Major O. A. Mack, while acting assistant provost-marshal for this State, ever made it a rule to consult and co-operate with the State authorities in the matter of raising men, never giving occasion for complaints, but treating all in a courteous and gentlemanlike manner.

In conclusion, permit me to add that I have used my utmost exertions to have our State respond to the calls of the Government for her share of the troops necessary to put down this accursed rebellion. Whether interfered with or not, whether consulted or not, I shall relax no efforts, and I know that there are loyal people enough in New Hampshire to co-operate with me, so that from this State, if from no other, every man required by the Government shall be forthcoming.