War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0682 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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of the war. The discipline and instruction acquired by the corps were highly creditable. Its services were always valuable, but were too varied to be briefly enumerated, inasmuch as, where one regiment escorted thousands of prisoners, convalescents, recruits, and conscripts, whose numbers can be given with accuracy, another simply defended and held important military lines and positions, aided in the enrollment and draft, or guarded vast depots of public property, thus performing duty which, from its nature, is not capable of exact definition. During its entire existence the corps was in the performance of duties which would otherwise been necessarily performed by as great a number of able-bodied troops detached from the armies in the field. Its career has been one of usefulness as well as of honor; it has accomplished all that could have been hoped of it, and more. Men who could no longer endure a full day's march, but who could still garrison important positions, hold lines of defense, and otherwise promote the public interests, have held its commissions and filled its ranks. Of every 100 of its officers, 82 were disabled by gunshot wounds, 13 by disease, 5 by accidental injuries, and all in the service of their country in her time of need. Tried on their entrance to the corps by the requisites of good character, meritorious military history, and invalidism contracted in the execution of soldierly duty, the officers and men have performed their varied and responsible labors with zeal, integrity, ability, and educated intelligence. To the justice and magnanimity of the Nation, in the claims they may present for further military service or other suitable employment, I recommend the many officers and men of the corps who have so far suffered for their country that they can no longer put forth their full strength for their own support.


Commutation money.a

The thirteenth section of the original enrollment act, March 3, 1863,b provided that a drafted man might secure exemption from service under the draft by paying to such person as the Secretary of War might designate to receive it such sum, not exceeding $300, as the Secretary might determine.

In June, 1863,c preparatory to the first draft, the Secretary of War fixed $300 as the sum to be paid, and designated the Provost- Marshal-General as the person to receive it. It was collected in accordance with the following plan:

By direction of the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Treasury, the collector of internal revenue in each district was required to collect the communication money from drafted men who desired to pay it for the purpose of securing the exemption authorized by law. Receipts given to the drafted men by the collector for the money so paid were presented by the drafted man to the Board of Enrollment, who gave him in return a certificate of exemption, according to form subscribed by the Bureau.

The Board of Enrollment was required to make to this office weekly abstracts of exemptions, and to accompany the same with the receipts for the communication, in consideration of which the men named in the abstract had been exempted.

The receipts thus obtained through the Board of Enrollment

a For details as to this fund, see Appendix, Doc.9.

b See Appendix, Doc.35, Art.4.

c See Appendix, Doc.24.