War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0807 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Washington, October 31, 1864.


Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this department for the past year:

The difficulties springing from a sudden and vast increase of business have been measurably overcome. Under the immediate supervision of seven assistants of the Adjutant-General's Department the various branches of duty have been systematized, principal and subordinate clerks have been instructed, and the business is now transacted with promptness and efficiency. Great praise is due both the officers and clerks for the fidelity and cheerful alacrity with which they have devoted themselves, without regard to hours, to the public interests.


The superior advantages offered for recruiting volunteer over regular regiments, in the shorter terms of enlistment and greater local bounties paid, have materially interfered with filling the ranks of the regulars. Nevertheless, by assiduous attention a greater success has been reached than was anticipated. Only two principal depots for the general service are now maintained, one for infantry at Fort Columbus, New York Harbor, and one for mounted service at Carlisle, Pa. At these points the recruits are collected and forwarded to batteries and regiments in the field. Sub-depots, which are also the headquarters of the regiments, are maintained at Fort Trumbull, Conn., for Third Artillery; Fort Richmond, New York Harbor, for Fifth Artillery; Newport Barracks, Ky., for Second Infantry; Fort Woods, New York Harbor, for Sixth Infantry; Fort Columbus, New York Harbor, for Eighth Infantry; Fort Independence, Boston Harbor, for Eleventh Infantry; Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor, for Twelfth Infantry; Newport Barracks, Ky., for Thirteenth Infantry; Fort Trumbull, Conn., for Fourteenth Infantry; Fort Adams, R. I., for Fifteenth Infantry; Fort Ontario, N. Y., for Sixteenth Infantry; Fort Preble, Me., for Seventeenth Infantry; Camp Thomas, Ohio, for Eighteenth Infantry; Fort Wayne, Mich., for Nineteenth Infantry.

The management of all the recruiting service for the Regular Army is under the immediate superintendence of Brigadier General P. St. G. Cooke, whose headquarters are at New York City. He is assisted by the commanding officers of the several regiments, who are the superintendents for their own regiments. The plan pursued has been to assign a certain district to each regiment within which its own officers are sent out to recruit for it. Officers and enlisted men who are only fit for light duty in consequence of wounds or sickness are usually thus employed, and when restored they are sent to relieve others in the field who require the change. Occasionally, when a whole regiment has become so much reduced in strength as to seriously impair its efficiency, it has been sent home to its depot and its officers and men detached to open rendezvous to recruit for it. A number of regular recruiting officers have also been employed from time to time in assisting to muster volunteers into the service, besides attending to their own duties.