War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0224 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

many of them as he can is unquestionable. The nature of the corps permits and the law sanctions it.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. N. WISEWELL,

Colonel and Assistant to Provost-Marshal-General.

Since writing the above a ruling has been obtained from the Adjutant-General's Office declaring that the men of the Veteran Reserve Corps may be re-enlisted and accredited in the same manner as the men of the Regular Army. I have also the honor to inform you that a table has been prepared of all the enlisted men who have been transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps from New York regiment. This table with your approval will be held subject to the order of the adjutant-general of New York, should he wish to use it for the purpose of re-enlisting any of them.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington City, April 11, 1864.

Colonel J. B. FRY,

Provost-Marshal-General:

COLONEL: Your letter of the 5th instant has been received, in which you inform me that complaints have been made in some instances "that the enrollments are excessive," and you:"request my opinion as to the legal and most proper mode of proceeding under the circumstances herein set forth."

In reply, I have the honor to say that the original enrollment was made in strict pursuance of the provisions of the act of march 3, 1863, chapter 75; and though some names were omitted which should have been added, and other names were inserted which should have been omitted, yet, considering the novelty of the law, the great number of officers acting under it without experience, and the magnitude and difficulty of the labor they were called on to perform, it is remarkable that the enrollment was so speedily and correctly made.

In order to remove, as far as practicable, any errors from the lists of names, you issued an order, Numbers 101, under date of November 17, 1863, in which you authorized and required the collection of all facts necessary for that purpose. This order was carried into effect. Not willing, however, to leave untried any means within your power of discovering mistakes in the enrollment, you went beyond the requisitions of the statutes and ordered printed lists of all the enrolled men to be prepared and made public, so that in every community the citizens might have an opportunity to aid you in the performance of a high public duty while protecting themselves against all liability to bear an unequal share of the public burdens.

having taken this precaution, and having to all concerned the power to have all existing errors corrected, and having amended the lists according to the best of your information, the fact that any mistakes still remain must be owing to the negligence or willful fault of those who now make complaint. The law requires you to proceed with the draft according to the enrollment as it stands at the date of the draft, and there is no other way for you tothe lists then prepared.

If any over-draft is made at the present time the excess will be taken into account in arranging the quota for the next succeeding draft if more troops should be required.

WILLIAM WHITING,

Solicitor of the War Department.