War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 1192 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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subject was officially brought to your notice you directed that slaves should not be enrolled, considering, I suppose, that the law did not intend to include slaves among the persons to be enrolled.

Difficulty and bloodshed attended the enrollment of white men in some of the free States, and the enrollment of free negroes in the border (slave) States was conducted in some instances at the imminent risk of local civil war. To have attempted the enrollment of slaves under a law which did not authorize it would, at the time when it must have been done, probably have produced evils which cannot now be calculated, and could not under any circumstances have added materially to the strength of the Army.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., December 25, 1863.


Secretary of War:

SIR: The subject of bounties, as at present offered, has become one of interest. I desire, therefore, to record certain facts connected with it.

The act of July 22, 1861, provides that $100 bounty shall be paid to all men who enlist voluntarily, and the enrollment act provides that the same shall be paid to drafted men and substitutes.

The enrollment act further provides that drafted men may be exempt from service by paying to the Government a sum of money not exceeding $300, which sum (fixed at $300) the law requires shall be expended to procure substitutes. It is clearly legal, therefore, to offer $400 to a man to enlist as a substitute; and there is no difference, except in the terms used, between offering a man $100 bounty and $300 commutation money to enlist as a substitute and offering $400 bounty as a recruit. Upon these laws and facts, as you are aware, the orders offering $300 bounty to raw recruits for old regiments and $400 for veterans were based. When these orders were published it was not possible to tell whether the commutation money from the draft would or would not pay all the recruits (or substitutes) who might offer-neither the amount of money to be received not the number of recruits who would offer could be foreseen. It is proper to state, however, that for one I hoped that there would be more recruits than money, feeling assured that the desire of all friends of the Government was to preserve and re-enforce the present Army, and that if the men were obtained, engagements thus contracted in accordance with the laws cited would be provided for by appropriations if the commutation money proved insufficient. On this point I was reassured by members of Congress, and before any order on this subject was presented for your consideration, or broached in any other way, to my knowledge, than in some rough notes of my own, the Honorable Henry Wilson, U. S. Senate, suggested to me the propriety and advantage of offering in advance as a bounty to recruits the money which was expected from the draft.

The right to use the money to procure recruits being clear, the orders only announced to whom and the manner in which it would be paid; and on this point care was taken to promise the payments in installments running through three years, so that if the commutation