by me (you) as absolutely requiring the quota of volunteers from towns to be procured from among their own citizens, respectively:" and you make an argument against this policy. I assure you that my position,as quoted, was not "intended to be understood" as you state, nor do I think the language bears the construction you have put upon it. I said,having previously recognized, adopted, and acted upon the system of raising men by bounties, "that every town should raise its own quota of men." I must say I don"t see how that language could be construed as "absolutely requiring" the men raised to be residents of the town. As I never approved nor contemplated such a policy or such a construction of my letter, it is not necessary for me to notice the objection you make to it.
The point I do make is just as stated, "that every town should raise its own quota of men;" that is, that every town should, by means of its bounties, its efforts, or the personal patriotism of its inhabitants, put into the U. S.service a number of men equal to the quota assigned it; and what I object to is this, viz, that when one thrown, by any of the means or influences resorted to, has actually put into the U. S. servis should on any account be transferred to the credit of a delinquent town. Such transfer, on the ground that each town should furnish its quota, deprives the service of a number of men equal to the number so bartered or transferred, and this principle should, I think, govern, whether the men it is proposed to transfer be re- enlist veterans or enlisted recruits.
The case of men who have not yet enlisted or re-enlist,whether recruits or veterans, is different. We do not pretend to establish their residences or the localities to which they shall be credited; the muster-in rolls are taken as the evidence on these points,and if, on account of bounties or for other cause, a man chooses to go from the north to the south of Maine to enlist and accept bounty, we do not propose to control his movements or question the correctness of the roll which shows him to be creditable to the south, thought he may have come from the north. All this I regard as a necessary part of the system of raising men by means of bounties, and, without expressing an approval or disapproval of that system, I would say that, as we are acting upon it, we must get the benefits of it.
No one can tell how many more men we will want, and in my opinion a town which has raised a surplus under the present call will act wisely to retain that surplus to its credit, and pay the additional bounties required for that purpose rather than sell out the surplus to a delinquent town for the purpose of saving or making money.
As stated in my letter of the 13th,the Government will need all the surplus raised.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. B. FRY,
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 29.
Washington, January 25, 1864.
The following acts of Congress are published for the information of all concerned:
AN ACT to authorize the President to appoint a Second Assistant Secretary of War.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for the term of