War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0986 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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this arrangement the expense of recruiting depots for the care of recruits and fitting them out would be saved, with their guards and machinery, as the recruit could be forwarded as soon as enlisted. Further than this, here would be a place where deserters could be sent, examined, tried, punished, or put to duty; the commander of the regiment would have both his interest and his pride enlisted in having his deserters and his absent- without-leave men brought back. If necessary to resort to a draft, then this system might obtain; Each regiment, while it should have its home, should also have its locality in a given military district, which should be expected and called upon to furnish its proportion of the Army of the United States equivalent to the regiment. The upon the depletion of the regiment belonging to that district by the loss of the 200 men, as the supposed case, a draft could be made in that military district to fill up, without disturbing the whole country with a simultaneous draft of many thousand men.

Officers from the regiment could be sent to that district to make the draft, saving the present system of provost-marshal's depots. The paymaster there, having the accounts of the regiment always under his hand, responsible for their correctness, could always pay the soldiers promptly; the colonel, being responsible for the requisitions which he should make for this purpose and the correctness of the accounts, would be an auditing officer. The accounts to be audited immediately after each payment and verified returns to be made to Pay Department. By such means every soldier would get his pay monthly like other workmen; would know where to send for it, if away; his wife or family would know where to get their allotment, if any, and soldier's order on the paymaster, if it were necessary to give orders, would always be able to find a answer. And here, too, might be the savings bank of the regiment for each soldier to deposit his pay, to be drawn on his order, thus saving the loss and waste of money in the field. The chaplain should be responsible for the religious instruction of the regiment, and for the instruction of the soldiers" children at the home of the regiment. Practically in the field the chaplain is nearly useless, except as a sort of postmaster of the regiment. In saying this I by no means mean to underrate the services of the chaplain or his zeal in his city, but speak of his opportunities to render service. The regimental quartermaster, having charge of the clothing and equipments of the regiment, making his requisitions through the colonel, would be responsible to him as well for its kind, its quality, and whether it came up to the inspection requirements of the Government, because, being at a place stated, he would be in a condition not to receive articles that were not proper in kind and quality, and being a permanent officer, dealing with a permanent body of men, he could be made responsible, which now issuing quartermasters at posts cannot practically be made, issuing to a body of men that they will never see again nor be seen by them. The regiment having a home, aroof the soldiers and the disabled soldiers and there be taken care, of, and each regiment would be a soldiers" home without further expense to the country. There the soldier would find schools for his children. There with the disabled soldiers and soldiers" wives manufactories of clothing and equipment for the Army could be established, and after a time the contract system might be substantially abolished.

Indeed, by means of making the regiment the unit of administrative organization, with proper and efficient officers the Army might be a self-providing machine so far as the provision of its equipment and