War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0841 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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The Government cannot afford to permit the possibility of such cruel and brutal treatment of good soldiers and brave men to gratify the heartless avarice of corporations which have been enriched by the war. I would therefore recommend that such changes be made in the regulations touching the use of railway lines for military purposes in time of war as shall preclude the possibility of a recurrence of conduct so disgraceful to humanity and so prejudicial to the interests of the service. The remedy should be sharp and summary. In making this suggestion I would not forget the great and signal benefits which the Government has derived during the late war from the use of the railroad lines built up by private enterprise; but it is held that nothing can justify such wanton and heartless abuses.

13. Exodus from the State-Passes.-Some effective means should be provided to prevent the exodus from the country of persons liable to enrollment and draft. Many thousands of such persons left this State for the remote Western Territories, California, Oregon, &c., on the eve of the late drafts, leaving their places to be filled by others, and thus adding to the burdens of those who remained at home. I am aware of the popular irritation caused by a general system of passes, but it is not seen in what other way the interests of the service and the rights of those who will not sneak out of the country to avoid their just share of military obligation can be adequately protected. The Provost-Marshal- General is assured that the evil had become in this State one of very serious magnitude, and it is therefore recommended that, should a draft be hereafter necessary, some system of passes should be adopted that would effectually check the wholesale withdrawal of the arms-bearing population from their respective States and localities. Should the suggestions elsewhere made in this report, relative to the manner of future enrollments, be carried into effect the necessary duration of the restraint of the pass system would be greatly lessened and its inconveniences be proportionally diminished.


In closing this report I would refer with a high sense of obligation to the prompt assistance and generous confidence which have ever been extended to me by the Provost-Marshal-General, and to the uniform courtesy and co-operation of the officers of his Bureau, as well as those of the other branches of the War Department with which I have been in official relations. I believe it due to truth to say that the complicated affairs of the Provost-Marshal-General's Department, with its vast theater of operations, its wilderness of details, its gigantic system of agencies and co-operative machinery, and its immense and perilous responsibilities, have been conducted with signal ability. The difficulties which have environed the head of the Bureau in the inauguration and successful prosecution of a military measure of such stupendous magnitude, and one hitherto untried in the history of the Government, can only be appreciated by those who have had some practical acquaintance with the subject.

It is my pleasant duty also to refer to the diligence, patriotic fidelity, and marked ability with which most of the provost- marshals in my jurisdiction have performed their important and perplexing duties. Their responsibilities have often been of a very grave character, calling for the exercise of high qualities of prudence, nerve, and tact. They have usually met every emergency with commendable sagacity and skill, and acquitted themselves in a manner alike Honorable to