War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0127 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, D. C., February 22, 1864.

His Excellency J. G. SMITH,

Governor of Vermont, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: In reply to your inquiries I have the honor to inform you that the enrollment act, as lately amended by Congress, requires that towns which have failed to furnish the quotas assigned them shall be drafted for the deficiencies, and the draft continued in said towns until the required number shall be obtained. The fact that a State may have furnished a number of men equal to the number of men assigned to all its towns, will not, under the present law, exempt the delinquent towns from draft.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES B. FRY,

Provost-Marshal-General.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Washington, D. C., February 23, 1864.

Major General JOHN A. DIX,

New York City:

GENERAL: I have the acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant.

I believe the authorities here are fully aware of the desperate efforts making by the rebels for a campaign the coming spring, and I know of no effort omitted by the Executive Department of the Government to increase our own forces in the field; but, of course, nothing could be done in regard to a draft till the bill passed Congress, which has been debating if for nearly three months.

I presume that now that the law has passed very active measures will be taken to carry it into execution. But this will take time, and the forces so raised will not be available till the first shock of the campaign is over.

It certainly is to be regretted that there has been so much delay in Congress.

I can not agree with you in regard to the use of local militia and temporary enlistments of volunteers to occupy our forts, harbors, and entrenchments. Such troops are exceedingly expensive and of very little use in actual service. They have already cost us hundreds of millions with very little advantage.

Moreover, the raising of such troops in any State diminishes the volunteering for old and new regiments nearly equal to the same amount of force.

After the experience of the past three years I think it would not be well to resort to local militia and short enlistments, except in cases of absolute necessity.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

LITTLE ROCK, February 24, 1864.

His Excellency A. LINCOLN,

President of the United States:

I hope you will not send General Sickles here, and if an order has been made to that effect that it may be revoked. His coming here