Secretary of War to raise five new regiments of volunteer infantry under the call of the 21st ultimo for 300,000 men.
Period of service will be for one, two, or three years, as recruits may elect. The said regiments must be mustered into service by February 7 next, in order that they may be credited on the quota of the State under the call.
Incomplete regiments and companies which fail to organize within a reasonable time will be consolidated so as to form and be mustered in with complete regimental organizations before the aforesaid date.
Recruitment, organization, and musters must conform to existing regulations.
THOMAS M. VINCENT,
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, EXECUTIVE DEPT.,
Boston, January 16, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Again I have the honor to represent that there are within our Commonwealth a large number of soldiers who have served in the U. S. volunteers in various terms of service from 100 days to three years, who, with proper inducements, could again be enlisted in the U. S. service. Such men are unwilling to be sent to a draft rendezvous, but if volunteer camps could be established they would readily volunteer. This fact is illustrated in the raising of the four veteran regiments last year, and the battalion of cavalry for frontier defense within this last month, and the effect of the present system by the difficulty which is experienced in recruiting the Sixty-first Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, which, although its organization was commenced five months ago, has now only six companies mustered into the service of the United States. The men enlisting now are, with very few exceptions, old soldiers who have seen long service and are consequently averse to being placed with conscripts, substitutes, &c.
Every man obtained of this class is an acquisition to the real as well as the numerical strength of the Army. If the General Government is desirous of filling up the old regiments with men who, without long drill and discipline in camps of instruction, will be efficient in camp, unwearied on the march, and effective on the battle-field, a concession to the regulations for recruiting as allowed in General Orders, Numbers 75, series 1862, will enable Massachusetts to offer such soldiers to the United States Government.
Under that order she was enabled to raise good and efficient men, and if we can to-day have the same opportunity out success will be as certain. If the Government call on us for men, we should be allowed to raise them in the way which will enable us to obtain them in the shortest time, and give to the Government the best material. I am confident that our success under such regulations would far surpass the expectations of our own authorities.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. ANDREW,
Governor of Massachusetts.