War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0606 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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have been granted by medical examining boards, and upon the duties of such boards, as governed by paragraph II, General Orders, No. 39, current series, in connection with General Orders, No. 58, of 1862, and 22, of 1863, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, the following instructions are issued for the information and guidance of all concerned:

The War Department, in its construction of the act of Congress providing for the examination of enrolled persons by a medical board, whose decision should be final, "has not regarded the term 'final' in this act as importing that there should be but one examination of the Medical Board, or that their certificates cannot be recalled or revised. " The condition of a person's physical or mental capacity is liable to change, and with the changes that may occur his liability to perform service may alter.

"The act of Congress makes these certificates of the Medical Board 'final' in the sense that it settles the liability so long as it is in force; that the person is not subject to the enrolling officer or commandant of conscripts while it is in force. But this agency for enforcing the conscript act, like all other agencies of its administration, is subordinate to the War Department, as charged by the President with its execution. The Department can call out and place in service from time to time persons enrolled who are not in the service, and may direct the inquiries proper to accomplish the object. "

The War Department having the necessary authority to order re-examination in all cases, recognizes the hardships that would result from an indiscriminate exercise of this power, and is of opinion that it should be used only in a limited way. Enrolling officers will therefore exercise great caution in executing the following instructions:

When, in the opinion of enrolling officers, the causes for which exemption was granted to a person after examination by the Medical Board have ceased to exist, they will make a report in full to the Board, stating the name of the person, when enrolled, when examined, and the disease, with reasons for believing it to have disappeared, and that the person is capable of performing service.

If the Examining Board shall think proper, it will order the party to be brought before it for a re-examination. Until the Board shall so order, the person exempted will not be molested.

In this connection it is deemed proper to state that General Orders, No. 22, of 1863, and 58, of 1862, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, are general instructions, and should not be construed as an exhaustive enumeration of causes insufficient to exempt from review a verdict of physical incapacity for military service.

G. W. LAY,

Lieut. Colonel and Asst. Adjt. Gen., Acting Chief of Bureau.

(To Commandants of Conscripts.)


Richmond, Va., June 23, 1863.

To enable this Bureau to refer for the approval of the Secretary of War general regulations concerning the extra compensation of detailed men, commandants of conscripts will report what sum they deem proper to be allowed to the men in their employ.