ing that a large number of deserters who had previously absconded are now returning; requests to be informed if it is the desire of the Government to make special efforts for the arrest of deserters.
Lieutenant Colonel William N. Grier, Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865, refers communication from provost-marshal Twentieth District, Pa., in reference to the number of deserters at large, and his inability, under the present arrangements, to arrest them.
Lieutenant Colonel William N. Grier, acting assistant provost- marshal-general for Harrisburg, Pa., August 24, 1865, forwards a communication from Captain J. W. Kirker, provost-marshal Twenty- third District of Pennsylvania, who suggests the propriety of restoring the reward for the arrest of deserters and non- reporting drafted men, so that the assistance of civil officers and citizens may be obtained to apprehend and arrest this class of criminals, the deputy provost-marshals and special officers having been discharged.
Bvt. Brigadier General James Oakes, acting assistant provost- marshal-general for Illinois, forwards for instructions a communication from Captain William H. Collins, provost-marshal Twelfth District of Illinois, who states that a number of deserters from the Army and the draft are reported to be within the limits of his district. Under existing arrangements, without guards, or rewards to secure the co-operation of citizens, he is powerless to make arrests, although good men inform him in regard to this class of persons, and asks that the Government punish them, in justice to those who have not evaded service; suggests that measures be taken to make the records of his officers permanently accessible to every county in the district, to prevent deserters from voting, and requests information on this point from the proper authorities. General Oakes says the preparation of a record of deserters for each county, as suggested by Captain Collins, would, if possible to be done at all with sufficient fullness and accuracy as to be of practical value for the purpose designated, be a work requiring much time and labor. He suggests that printed lists of deserters be prepared from the records of each district.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles S. Lowell, Madison, Wis., May 6, 1865, refers communication relative to the state of affairs in the town of Benton, Lafayette County, which is infested with disloyal men and returned deserters. The provost-marshal Third District of Wisconsin says the town has been in open rebellion against the Government since the war broke out, and that this is the second time he has been called upon for aid, but is unable to do anything in the matter, owing to the discharge of the special officers.
Brigadier General T. G. Pitcher, Indianapolis, Ind., July 3, 1865, refers communication with regard to returning deserters from the draft, and asks if it is desirable to arrest them; if so, suggests that provost-marshal be authorized to employ one deputy special agent for that purpose.
Brigadier General T. G. Pitcher, Indianapolis, Ind., July 20, 1865, refers for instructions communication from provost-marshal Sixth District of Indiana, stating that several deserters from the draft have returned from Canada, and asking if he shall arrest them, and if so, what disposition shall be made of them.
Bvt. Major William Silvey, Concord, N. H., May 31, 1865, says he is almost daily receiving information concerning the presence, in various places in the State, of deserters, and having no deputies or special agents, desires to know in what manner the arrest of these men is to be accomplished.