Louisiana, having a regiment composed almost entirely of rebel deserters. By organizing this regiment at once I e regiment who will fight a l"outrance for the spring campaign.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., March 21, 1864.
Major General J. A. DIX,
New York City:
It is reported that there are regiments, companies, and detachments of soldiers and recruits in the Northern and Western States which can and ought to be immediately sent to the field. You will cause examinations and inspections to be made in your department, and report to the Adjutant-General of the Army any such bodies or detachments that may be found. Particular attention should be given to recruiting depots for general and special service, as it is reported that recruiting officers and provost-marshals are negligent in reporting and forwarding recruits. It is not intended by these instructions to interfere with the present arrangement in regard to orders for such service, but to collect such information as may enable the War Department to get troops more promptly into the field.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
(Same to General Couch, Harrisburg, Pa.; General Brooks, Pittsburgh, Pa., and General Heitzelman, Columbus, Ohio.)
WAR DEPT., PROV. March GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 10.
Washington, March 22, 1864.
The following opinion of the Honorable William Whiting, Solicitor of the War Department, is republished for the information of all persons liable to be enrolled in the military forces of the United States, and intending to leave their places of residence for other places at a distance therefrom. The laws against desertion will be rigidly enforced:
When a person has been drafted, in pursuance of the enrollment act of March 3, 1863, notice of such draft must be served within ten days thereafter, by a written or printed notice, to be served on him personally, or by leaving a copy at his last place of residence, requiring him to appear at a designated place of rendezvous for duty. Any person failing to report for duty after notice left at his last place of residence, or served on him personally, without furnishing a substitute or paying $300, is pronounced by law to be deserter; he may be arrested and held for trial by court-martial and sentenced to death.
If a person after having drafted, and before receiving notice\, deserts, the notice may still be served by leaving it at his last place of residence, and if he does not appear in accordance with the notice, or furnish the substitute, or pay the $300, he will be in law a deserter and must be treated accordingly. There is no way or manner in which a person, once "enrolled," can escape his public duritis, and when drafted, whether present or absent, whether he changes his residence or absconds, the rights of the United States against him are secured, and it is only by performance of his duty to the country that he will escape liability to be treated as a criminal.
JAMES B. FRY,