War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0696 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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means under its control all has been done which could be effected by zeal and diligence. The results indicate this grave consideration for the Government, that fresh material for the armies can no longer be estimated as an element of future calculation for their increase, and that necessity demands the invention of devices for keeping in the ranks the men now borne on the rolls. The stern revocation of all details, an appeal to the patriotism of the States claiming large numbers of able-bodied men, and the accretions by age, are now almost the only unexhausted sources of supply. For conscription from the general population, the functions of this Bureau may cease with the termination of the year 1864.

Papers A, B, C, and D are the reports of the officers of this Bureau relative to matters with which they are respectively charged and exhibiting statements and views which I deem worthy of your consideration.

Papers E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, and N, hereto attached, exhibit the various operations of the conscript service in the diverse functions allotted to it. From these, however, are excluded an immense mass of work which it is not deemed necessary to report, because it is of a character not demanding record in this Bureau. The returns furnished are unavoidably incomplete, and I respectfully refer to the latter portion of this report for the explanation.

Papers O and P will exhibit very valuable reports from Colonel Blake, the register of this Bureau, in regard to the military capabilities of Georgia and Virginia. Within a few days I expect to receive from the same intelligent and zealous officer similar reports on North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama.

Paper Q is a list of the enrolling officers whose commission have been vacated. The case is fully stated below. These various exhibits show that much good work has been done, although the numbers recorded in this Bureau do not manifest a large increase to the Army. A rigid and universal inspection, not only of company rolls, but personal and also pay rolls, will prove that more men have been received into the service irregular since the 1st of January than have gone through the conscription authorities.

The results of conscription since the 1st of January have not been equal to the anticipations of the country, and, perhaps, not quite up to the calculations of this Bureau.

I. The act of Congress entitled "An act to put an end to the exemption from military service of those who have heretofore furnished substitutes," approved January 5, 1864, has not furnished the number of men which it was supposed would be brought into the service by that law. It has been found that a number of persons having substitutes come within the classes exempted by the act of February 17, 1864, and other large numbers belong to those classes who are the subjects of detail for the industrial productions. Wealthy farmers, enterprising manufacturers, and mechanics were the persons chiefly furnishing substitutes. Besides these many patriotic of feeble health, but within the conditions of the regulations, sent in substitutes, and on being enrolled have been detailed for service out of the field. The Bureau, under your instructions, has been very cautions in allowing such details. I regret to state that there seems to have been a general effort to of substitutes of the Army.

It is proper to add that the calculation of enrolling officers is, that a larger number of this class have gone into the Army without reporting to the enrolling officers than have been passed by them through the camps. The results of the law, therefore, has been better than is exhibited by the records of this Bureau.

II. It has been found exceedingly difficult to interpret the "Act to organize forces to serve during the war," so as to adapt its provisions to just administration under the agencies provided for conscription. The purpose of the law seems to be that while all men are made liable to military service the productive industry must be maintained as necessary to the public defense. Under the classes of exemption there are but a limited number engaged in production.ing fifteen able-bodied hands" a very small minority produce more than they consume, rarely having a surplus of grain or meat to sell, and a large majority of such persons between the ages of seventeen and fifty are already in the service. The surplus producers, those on whom the country and the Army must depend for supplies, are the classes having much less than "fifteen hands," and down to single laborers on farms. As numerous as this class is, it has already been drained of men to a point which requires great caution in making further abstractions. My opinion is that the agriculture of the country cannot safely spare more than a very small additional draft. I am not sure that the public defense would not be strengthened instead of weakened by adding to the labor thus employed.

III. In manufactures and mechanical arts the like necessity seemed to exist. Perhaps no civilized war ever so barren of manufactures and mechanical arts as the States of the Confederacy at the beginning of the war; and certainly