War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0608 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

view. It is therefore suggested, first, that conscripts enough be retained from among those presenting themselves as owing horses for cavalry service to supply the necessities for patrols in each State, and be allowed while so employed cavalry pay and commutation of forage and rations. No additional officer will be needed; only authority to draw arms. Second, that the commandants of conscripts for the State be authorized to order payment to citizens while aiding in this business of a fair price for their horses and actual expenses of travel and forage, also to hire horses when necenrolling officers or conscripts. This authority would need to be exercised for a time on a somewhat large scale, but the ultimate economy and public advantage of speedy repression before this evil can spread into large proportions would be very great. These commandants are very judicious and discreet officers. Third, that where the Governors of States may consent small bodies of militia may be taken into temporary service under these commands and paid as infantry or cavalry according to the duties required. For example, at the ferries over some of the streams in Virginia guards are very necessary to stop soldiers escaping from the Army to North Carolina and Tennessee. These militia might furnish these, say, for a moment, in order to act vigorously at once, an average of fifty men to each Congressional district. Fourth, as a mere suggestion (liable, perhaps, to objection in other respects) I invite consideration whether al call may not be made on the men between forty and forty-five for this home service only (under the commandant of conscripts), which is as important to the police and peace of the home community as to the Army. If these measures be adopted my inclination inclines me to believe that in a few weeks it will have become known throughout our armies that home affords no safety for the individual deserter, still less for armed bands of such.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. LAY,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Acting Chief of Bureau.

[Indorsement.]

Approved, except the last suggestion, which is not at this time deemed judicious.

J. A. S.,

Secretary of War.

GENERAL ORDERS,

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 89.

Richmond, June 25, 1863.

All discharges for disability will be held as conditional, dependent upon the disability, and valid only during its continuance. If on examination the disability is at any time found to have ceased, the holders will be liable to conscription, to serve the unexpired terms of their enlistments. This regulations applies to substitutes, whether under or over the age of conscription. Their services are due for the war, and the Government should not be deprived of them, for what proves to be a temporary disability.

By order:

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.