War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0551 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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nature was convened in Washington January 12, 1864, by order of the Adjutant-General, who directed that it should be governed by such instructions as might be prescribed for it by the Provost- Marshal-General. It consisted of seven colonels, a lieutenant- colonel, a surgeon, and a first lieutenant who officiated as

recorder. As it soon became evident that one board could not do all the labor of this kind which was required, the Adjutant- General authorized (February 13, 1864) the Provost-Marshal- General to convene others at such times and places as he might designate. Under this order the system continued to work until it was no longer needed. Records of the examinations of all the officers who were then in the corps and of all who have entered it since are preserved in the Bureau. The heads according to which they were tested are as follows: Field service, disability, recommendations, capacity for a commission, general education, intelligence, industry, knowledge of tactics, regulations, Articles of War, discipline and service, record of sobriety, and of attention to duty. Of those who already held appointments in the organization only one-twenty-fourth were thrown out as unsuitable for their positions.


On the 31st of December, 1863, the Provost-Marshal-General stopped recruiting for the Second Battalion for the reason that a sufficient number of men were added to it by transfer from the field regiments and the hospitals. In February, 1864, it was decided that men enlisted for the First Battalion should be credited to the quota of their State, township, & c. As the increase of the corps barely balanced the large diminution by discharge, it was ordered that men might be accepted who had served two years in the Army or marines, without regard to disability. Like other recruits, they were to have neither bounty nor premium, and they were only to be received on condition that they were not subject to draft.


Officers discharging men from hospitals or field service because of physical disability were directed, in case the individual was not meritorious, to indorse on the discharge that he was unsuited for the Invalid Corps. So much of General Orders, Numbers 105, 1863, as forbade the discharge of men fit for the corps was revoked as regarded soldiers who had less than six months to serve. Disabled substitutes and drafted men might be transferred, as well as volunteers. By a circular from the Adjutant-General's Office, January 18, 1864, all invalids who had been mustered on transfer rolls by surgeons in charge of hospitals and all soldiers of the Second Battalion considered well enough for the First Battalion were sent to the Invalid Corps rendezvous nearest the hospital, there to be inspected by an examining board, which had power to confirm the transfer, assign the men to either battalion, return them to the field, or discharge them from the service. It is to be observed that soldiers of the Regular Army were never properly transferred to the corps, and that where this occurred the action was revoked and the individuals sent to the hospitals of their respective regiments.

The corps was influenced by the veteran volunteer movement and a considerable number of the transferred men re-enlisted. It was decided that these cases should count on the quotas of States, & c., as