War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0546 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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certificates from an enrollment board. Discharged soldiers of over forty-five years of age, whether they had left the service during the war or previous to it, might be accepted. Enlistments were for three years unless sooner discharged; neither officers nor soldiers might be allowed bounty or premium; they were to be paid like U. S. infantry, except the bounty for re-enlistment.

The Board of Enrollment decided whether the recruits were suitable for the First, or Second, or Third Battalions. Those who were able to bear a musket and do garrison duty were recommended for the First, those who had lost an arm or hand, or who were otherwise so severely injured as to be fit only for hospital guards and attendants, for the Second, while the severest and most hopeless cases of disability were assigned to the Third. In Circular Numbers 18, June 6, 1863, the Provost-Marshal-General indicated his desire that the first class should equal in number the other two combined. In fact, there never was a Third Battalion; the individuals assigned to it were put in the companies of the Second by General Orders, Numbers 212, Adjutant- General's Office, July 9, 1863; and the number of men in the corps bearing muskets has always doubled that of those fit merely for hospital and clerical duty. During a period of about a year, indeed, the proportion was 21,000 to 7,000.

Commanders of camps and of recruiting stations were of two classes. They might be permanently disabled officers who had been appointed to commissions in the corps by the Secretary of War, or they might be invalid officers of volunteer regiments in the field, temporarily assigned to this duty. These last were permitted to transfer their services to the corps on proper proof of physical disability, good military history, and meritorious character, and they were to be considered mustered in and were to draw pay from the date of acceptance of appointment or commission. Each commander of a recruiting station sent monthly reports to the superintendent and tri-monthly ones to the Provost-Marshal-General. In August, 1863, this system was discontinued; the recruiting parties were ordered to report to the superintendents of the several States in which they were stationed, and they were assigned by them to companies already formed or forming in the camp of rendezvous. Henceforward the recruiting of the corps was managed by the ordinary machinery of the Provost-Marshal-General's Bureau, except that each superintendent was allowed two invalid officers to aid him in this extra labor. The enlisted men of the companies were substituted in the usual manner of recruits in the U. S. Army. If possible, rations were drawn from the nearest issuing commissary; otherwise the acting assistant commissary purchased supplies. It was ordered that every independent command of the Invalid Corps should have one officer detailed as acting assistant commissary of subsistence and acting assistant quartermaster. Requisitions were to be approved by the senior officer of the post. All the costs of recruiting, together with the legal miscellaneous expenses of the camps, such as stationery, office furniture, &c., were to be paid on the usual vouchers by the disbursing officer of the Provost-Marshal-General's Bureau. While recruiting a company bore a temporary designation, as, for instance, "First Company, First Battalion, organized at Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, Va.," but after the muster and descriptive rolls had reached Washington a permanent number was assigned to the organization and no other thenceforward used.