War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0832 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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upon the profits of the execrable business. It is the parent and support also of the herd of bounty jumpers who have prowled the country during the last twelve months, scandalously selling themselves again and again to the highest bidder, regardless of their plighted faith and the solemnities of their oaths to the Government.

The enormous gains of the business clothe its agents with a power of bribery against which there is reason to fear that not a few of the commissioned officers of the Government have proved unable to stand. Many well-known facts render this more than a mere surmise. Members of boards of enrollment who were penniless when they received their commissions have retired from the service with a display of means utterly incompatible with the assumption of their honesty, and yet so adroitly has the business been conducted that no clue can be obtained whereby to prove their guilt.

A business that thus interferes with the military operations of the Government, demoralizing and corrupting both people and soldiery, and bringing the force of a tremendous temptation to bear upon the very officers of the Government to swerve them from rectitude-a business that makes bounty jumpers by hundreds, a set of dastards who, to the crime of desertion, add the meanness of constructive theft and robbery-a business that tends to stain the proud name of the soldier of the Republic, and entail, by vilest fraud, an expense of untold thousands. Such a business not only cannot be right, but must be considered as falling within the sphere of the national authority in time of war.

I therefore suggest and recommend that substitute brokerage be supposed by proper authority, as a military offense, and that all persons found guilty of engaging therein be liable to summary trial and punishment by court-martial or military commission; and that any provost-marshal, commissioner, surgeon, or other officer of the Provost-Marshal-General's Bureau who shall countenance and encourage, or in any manner aid and abet any system of substitute brokerage, or the agents thereof, or who shall receive any bribe from, or have any pecuniary or other connection with, substitute brokers, shall be dishonorably and summarily dismissed the service.

5. Deserters.-The number of deserters arrested and returned to the service from Illinois during my administration as acting assistant provost-marshal-general is 5,805, as shown by Schedule No. 6, Appendix. While it is believed that this result will compare favorably with that attained in any other State of like geographical situation and general circumstances, yet I am persuaded that under a different policy the number of arrests would have been very largely increased.

This topic has been so fully presented in several of the historical reports of my district provost-marshals, and the views therein advanced are, in many instances and particulars, so just and practical, that I need here do but little more than advert to and indorse them.

Incalculable evil has resulted from the clemency of the Government toward deserters. By a merciful severity at the commencement of the war the mischief might have been nipped in the bud, and the crime of desertion could never have reached the gigantic proportions which it attained before the close of the conflict. The people were then ardent and enthusiastic in their loyalty, and would have cheerfully and cordially assented to any measures deemed necessary to the strength and integrity of the Army. They had heard of the "Rules