It is the opinion of this office that the reward of $30 allowed by General Orders, Numbers 325, dated War Department, Adjutant- General's Office, Washington, D. C., September 28, 1863, is a fair remuneration to the party making the arrest, and that a less amount would have proved detrimental to the service.
All deserters delivered at this office were turned over, immediately after their examination, to the commandant of the post, with duplicate descriptive rolls, one of which was receipted by him and returned to this office and forwarded, with the monthly report of deserters arrested, to the Provost-Marshal- General.
In every case where a soldier was arrested and brought to this office as a deserter, and found upon examination to be such, duplicate vouchers (From 21) for the reward of $30 were made out in favor of the person delivering the deserter, and that amount was in each case charged upon the descriptive list forwarded with the deserter.
Since the organization of this office the following number of deserters and stragglers have been apprehended and turned over to the military authorities, viz:
Deserters arrested ....................................... 978
Stragglers arrested ...................................... 55
Total .................................................... 1,033
I am convinced from experience and observation that the prompt arrest of deserters, and their speedy return to their regiments, and the stoppage of the $30 reward against their pay, had the most salutary effect in restraining enlisted men from abandoning the service.
THE MANNER OF KEEPING RECORDS.
Record of deserters arrested.-A book was kept in which the descriptions of all deserters received were entered, with such dates and remarks as were proper to complete, as far as practicable, the histories of the arrests and disposition made of the men.
Stragglers were arrested and disposed of and reported in the same manner as deserters, but with proper explanatory remarks in each case.
No reward was allowed for the arrest of stragglers.
Record of drafted men.-A book was kept in which an exact and complete roll of persons drawn in the draft was entered.
This book was ruled and headed to correspond with the descriptive roll of drafted men. (Form 33.)
The disposition which was made of drafted men was noted in this book in the column of remarks, and as far as practicable their military history completed.
Record of public property seized.-A book ruled with the following headings was kept, in which to record all public property seized in the hands of unauthorized persons, and turned into the Quartermaster's Department by this office, viz:
Number or quantity, articles seized, when, where, from whom, by whom, condition, estimated value, disposition, to whom turned over, when, where, remarks.
Record of the enrollment.-The enrollment was consolidated on consolidated enrollment lists, by sub-districts alphabetically arranged, and bound in volumes of suitable size for convenient reference.
Record of the proceedings of the Board of Enrollment.-A fair record of each day's proceedings of the Board of Enrollment was kept by the recorder of the Board in a book for that purpose.