papers throughout the North in favor of the enterprise; the machinery of the Union Leagues was put in operation to assist; over 100 officers have been conditionally appointed and sent into the States to secure men, and the officers of the Provost- Marshal's Department have taken a lively interest in the success of the corps.
Reports in large numbers from these different agencies are on file in my office, and they are unaminous in the expression of the opinion that the great obstacle to recruiting for the corps is the requirement that all veterans enlisting in it shall be credited to the place where they or their families are domiciled. This is especially observed by the acting assistant provost- marshal-generals, who have had great experience in recruiting.
In the face of so much testimony it is probably unnecessary to present any argument in the case.
It may be stated briefly that the First Corps is the only organization in which the above rule is in force. Veterans living in localities paying little or no bounty naturally prefer to enlist from some locality paying a large bounty, to do which they must enter some other organization than the First Corps. The special Government bounty of $300 will not turn the scale against the larger local bounties. The same remark holds good of veteran substitutes, who nearly always join other organizations. A raw recruit living in a town where no local bounty is paid can get a considerably larger sum for enlisting than a veteran from the same town can get by entering the First Corps. The one can go abroad in search of high bounties, the other cannot.
The restriction imposed upon the corps has arrayed the vast army of bounty brokers throughout the country in hostility to the corps. These brokers are exceedingly powerful in their sphere, and have almost complete control of recruiting throughout the country. Five-sixths of all the men enlisting pass through their hands.
In conclusion I beg leave to offer the following suggestions:
First. That veterans enlisting in the First Corps shall be permitted to select the locality to which they are to be credited. The Government bounty of $300 will then secure nearly all veterans enlisting for the First Corps.
(If the rule was made universal that credits should go to the localities where recruits are domiciled, the First Corps would be under no comparative disadvantage. It may be thought, however, that such a violent change in the system of recruiting cannot be judiciously made at this time.)
Second. As a corollary to the above proposition it would follow that veterans entering service as substitutes for enrolled men should be credited to the locality where the principal is enrolled. If this change is acceded to I shall confidently expect to raise several thousand veterans before the draft. It is possible the corps may be filled, but the time is perhaps too short. Recruiting officers, however, are very sanguine that they would be entirely successful were the restrictions removed.
If it should meet the views of the Secretary to direct that veteran substitutes unassigned at the different draft rendezvous shall be sent to the First Corps, it would be considerably increased, and by early spring would be a formidable body of men.
I am, sir, with high respect, your obedient servant,
WINF"D S. HANCOCK,
Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding First Corps.
69 R R-SERIES III, VOL IV