War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0545 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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of this Bureau. Appointed May 23, 1863, he held the position until November 9 of the same year. From his accession until his official report, dated October 31, 1863, is the first of the three divisions of time into which this history naturally divides itself. It is hardly necessary to explain that toward the Provost-Marshal-General the chief of the Bureau has always stood in the relation of an adjutant toward his commanding officer, deriving from him all his authority and issuing orders only in his name. He has presided over the multifarious minor details of the organization of the corps, but only as an assistant or adjutant. He has issued special orders and occasionally letters of instruction, but always by direction of the Provost-Marshal-General. General Instructions and directions have usually been promulgated over the personal signature of the Provost-Marshal- General under the title of circulars. General orders, strictly so named, have in all cases proceeded from the Adjutant-General of the Army, although usually, if not always, suggested by the Provost-Marshal-General. Nevertheless, the labors and responsibilities of the position of chief of the Bureau were sufficient to occupy closely a man of activity and intelligence. Colonel Rush commenced operations with four clerks, but by the end of six months this force had increased to four commissioned officers and six clerks, and the duty performed was so far from light that it demanded night work on an average of five nights in a week. A large proportion of this drudgery arose from the fact that at first all the descriptive lists and other papers relating to the transferred men passed through the office. At a later period this burdensome centralization was remedied.


Every proper means was used to fill up the corps as rapidly as possible. In a circular issued May 22, 1863, the Provost-Marshal- General called the attention of officers who had been honorably discharged for wounds and disabilities to the nature of the organization. He directed that the acting assistant provost- marshal-general of each State should at once open a recruiting station for the corps; that he should attach to it a camp of rendezvous provided with the necessary quarters and subsistence for recruits, and that he should send in estimates of the stores needed for a fixed number of companies. One hundred and sixty-one companies were allotted to the loyal States and the District of Columbia in a ration graduated according to population and other probabilities of enlistment. They were to be organized, uniformed, equipped, and armed at the camp of rendezvous.

In his capacity of superintendent of recruiting the acting assistant provost-marshal-general of the State was held responsible that the depots should be kept supplied with material for this purpose. A discharged soldier wishing to enlist went before an enrollment board, and, if judged a proper subject for the corps, received a certificate to that effect. On this document any district provost-marshal would furnish him transportation to the nearest superintendent of recruiting, who, after satisfying himself that the applicant was of meritorious character, enlisted him.

In case of rejection he was entitled to a ticket of transportation to his home. For a time commandants of companies were empowered to muster in desirable men who presented themselves with proper