War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0818 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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charged, many more companies would doubtless have been organized.

One hundred and seventy-one applications from former officers and eight from enlisted men for commissions in the Invalid Corps and Veteran Reserve Corps have been forwarded through these headquarters to the Provost-Marshal-General, showing that whatever disinclination has existed on the part of enlisted men to enter the corps, no such backwardness has been displayed by resigned and discharged officers to obtain commissions therein.

While the result of recruiting for the Veteran Reserve Corps, as now detailed, are confessedly small, the causes which have conspired to this end are obvious, among the more potent of which may be mentioned the following:

First. The extraordinary bounties paid by the Government, especially to those who had previously seen service, as an inducement for them to re-enter active service, while all bounties have been withheld for enlistments in the Veteran Reserve Corps.

Second. The high wages for all kinds of manual labor incident to the withdrawal of such vast numbers of men from the agricultural districts of the State to supply the demands of the Army, the wages thus paid far exceeding the compensation received by an enlisted man [without bounty] in the Veteran Reserve Corps.

Third. The causeless and senseless jealousy and dislike manifested toward the corps by soldiers of active regiments in the field, and which have been communicated to many who, having been discharged for disability, would have been proper candidates for the corps.

In view of these difficulties, and others to which I have referred, it is hoped that the results obtained, though far less than were anticipated, will not be considered as discouraging, and that my efforts to carry out the views of the Government in this most laudable department of the public service will not be regarded as lacking in earnestness and energy.

7. Medical branch.-This branch was organized April 10, 1865, and Surg. Martin Rizer, First Army Corps, placed in charge. The first duty assigned Surgeon Rizer was the inspection of the medical records and proceedings of the various district boards of the State. Owing to the fact that I had previously had no officer competent to the duties of such inspection and supervision of the medical departments of the district provost-marshals" offices, many irregularities and imperfections were found by Surgeon Rizer to exist in some of said departments. The results of his various inspections have been reported to this office in writing and forwarded to the Provost-Marshal-General.

It is to be regretted that the services of Surgeon Rizer, or some other generally equally competent medical officer, could not have been secured at an earlier period, to take supervision of the medical branch of the bureau. It cannot be doubted that very many remissnesses and irregularities would thereby have been avoided, and the final results of the examination of recruits, drafted men, &c., would have been presented in a much more full and accurate form, thus rendering the experience of this branch of the service far more available to the Government for future use. Surgeon Rizer has done all he could under the circumstances, and has done it well.


It being important that the machinery of the Bureau of the Provost-Marshal-General should be completed and set in operation as soon as possible, instructions were issued from this office, immediately after