drafts. I understand that a circular of the Provost-Marshal- General, issued last month, directed that the names of certain classes of individuals specified by him should not be placed again in the wheel, but that aliens who had been drafted and subsequently exempted on the grounds of their foreign allegiance were not included in the classes so specified.
My second suggestion is, that means should be taken to enforce the observance by boards of enrollment of the last clause of the Provost-Marshal-General's Circular Numbers 53, of the 19th of July last, which was communicated by you to the foreign legations on the 20th of July last. If in obedience to the provisions of this clause, the boards of enrollment, in all cases in which they are not satisfied that a party claiming exemption is entitled thereto, refer the case for decision to the State Department, and "in the meantime suspended any action on the case until the decision of the States Department be made," the intervention of this legation in behalf of British subjects would rarely be necessary. I am not aware of there being any serious difference of opinion between the State Department and the legation as to the general rules by which decisions on claims to exemption should be guided.
The great majority of applications from the legation are in cases in which boards of enrollment have peremptorily rejected claims to exemption and ordered to claimants at once into actual service; and the results of these violations of the Provost-Marshal-General's order have been, in several instances, that British subjects, whose claims to exemption have finally been admitted, have been detained in actual military service, or in confinement, for very long periods.
In connection with this subject I would observe that, considering the caution exercised by Her Majesty's consuls in granting certificates of nationality, it may not be unreasonable to expect the if such certificates are not held to be conclusive, they shall at least command so much respect as to preclude all risk of the claims of those who hold them being rejected by the boards without reference to the State Department.
You will not, I am sure, understand me as addressing you in a spirit of complaint; on the contrary, my desire in making the suggestions which I have ventured to submit to you is to prevent occasions of complaint.
My objects are to save my countrymen form anxiety and annoyance and to diminish the necessity for applications from the legation to the State Department, which by their very number, however carefully the correspondence respecting them may be conducted on both sides, tend to produce inconvenience and misunderstanding.
Believe me to be, my dear sir, your very faithful, humble servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, Fort Monroe, March 20, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have now more than a minimum regiment of repentant rebels, whom a friend of mine calls transfuses, recruited at Point Lookout. They behave exceedingly well, are very quiet, and most of them I am certain are truly loyal, and I believe will make as efficient a regiment as there is in the service. I should like to organize and arm it at once. I have had some experience with the same sort of material in