Washington City, January 28, 1865.
Honorable SCHUYLER COLFAX,
Speaker of the House of Representatives:
SIR: In answer to the resolution of the House, dated December 15, 1864, making inquiries concerning certain alleged letters and orders respecting recruits enlisted to fill up old regiments, I have the honor to submit the annexed report of the Adjutant- General.
To the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 7th of January, relating to the same subject, and inquiring why the information called for by the previous resolution had not been furnished, I have the honor to state that the delay in answering was occasioned by the pressure of business upon this Department and the necessity of examining orders, correspondence, and muster-rolls embracing a period of more than two years and relating to the enlistment of many thousand soldiers.
The exigencies of the service in the field and absence occasioned by sickness or on public business have much reduced the experienced force in this Department. This and the transaction of daily business during the sessions of Congress unavoidably protract answers to calls by committees and Congress for information that requires examination of the voluminous correspondence and rolls of the Department.
Your obedient servant,
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., January 28, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on the 16th ultimo of your reference of the following resolution of the House of Representatives:
DECEMBER 15, 1864.
On motion of Mr. Holman,
Resolved, That the Secretary of War be directed to furnish to the House copies of the order issued from his Department on the 21st day of December, 1863, in regard to recruits enlisted with conditions that they should be discharged when their regiments were mustered out of service; also copy of order or letter dated the 22nd day of December, 1863, and addressed to the Governor of the State of Massachusetts, in regard to recruits to fill up old regiments, and that he inform the House whether the principles announced in the order above mentioned have been applied to all soldiers mustered into the service to fill up the old regiments.
In reply I respectfully report as follows:
First. No order of December 21, 1863, such as appears contemplated by the aforesaid resolution, was issued by this Department.
Second. No order or letter of December 22, 1863, was addressed to the Governor of the State of Massachusetts in regard to recruits to fill up old regiments.
A copy of a telegram of July 21, 1862, believed to be the one contemplated by the resolution, and referring to that subject, is submitted herewith.