War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 1152 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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[Inclosure Numbers 1.] Credits for substitutes in 1862.



Harrisburg, Pa., February 1, 1865.


SIR: In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives of date January 30, 1865, requesting me to communicate what disposition has been made of the papers relating to the draft made by the United States Government in Pennsylvania in 1892, together with such facts in my possession in relation thereto as may be of both interest and value to parties who put substitutes into the service for three years pending said draft, I have the honor to report the draft of 1892, although commonly called the State draft, was made under the provisions of an act of Congress, the State acting simply as an agent to designate to the General Government suitable persons to execute the law under regulations made by the United States authorities.

An assistant adjutant-general was appointed by the General Government, under whose immediate supervision the persons thus designation acted. For the sake of convenience this officer and his clerks occupies a room in this department, and reports from the several counties were made to him. Such of the papers as related to compensation were sent to Washington for adjustment and pay; those relating to the enrollment, draft, exemption, substitute and personal service of the drafted men were left by the U. S. officers when the draft was consummated in the room which they had occupied. These papers appear to contain, among other things, the names of such drafted men as then put in substitutes for three years.

A large number of persons have recently called upon me for certified extracts from these records showing that they had been drafted and had furnished substitutes for three years, and stating that these certified extracts would exempt them from liability to the present draft. As the papers belong strictly to the United States and are not in my official charge, I have felt compelled to decline giving such certificates.

That justice might, however, be done to a large number of our citizens I directed that the papers should be carefully gathered together and delivered to Major R. I. Dodge, the provost- marshal, of the State. They were retained at his office for a day and then returned with the statement that Major Dodge declined having anything to do with them.

If it be true, and I believe it has been the case in former drafts, that the General Government will strike from the rolls the names of men who show that they have substitutes in service, I think it due to our people that they should have be benefit of these records.

this end I had hoped to reach by placing them in the hands of the provost-marshal of the State, that he might distribute them among the several boards of enrollment and then give local boards, whose duty it is to correct the rolls, the proper evidence of the exemptions due the people of their respective districts.

Respectfully submitted.


Secretary of the Commonwealth.