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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1864 Report

Recruiting in Southern States

By Section three of the act of Congress approved July 4, 1864, the Executive of any State was authorized to send Recruiting Agents into any of the States declared to be in rebellion, except Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana, to recruit volunteers to the credit of such State, and the respective sub-divisions thereof.

Although, from all the information, which could be obtained, it was believed, that but few recruits could probably be obtained in this manner, yet the feeling at that time among the towns, that their quotas could and should be reduced by enlistments obtained under this authority, was so general, that it was deemed advisable to give the matter a full and fair trial. Accordingly, General order No. 9, (Appendix A,) was issued, and Recruiting Agents, of known energy, activity and experience, were commissioned, furnished with suitable instructions and the necessary funds, and sent to the different Stations.

The Recruiting Agents, and their Stations, were as follows:

For North Eastern Virginia - Station, Alexandria, Wheelock G. Veazey and Gardner I. Howe.

For South Eastern Virginia - Station, Norfolk, Asa R. Camp, John Hunt and Lorenzo K. Smith

For North Carolina - Station, Newbern, William W. Grout and Gates B Bullard.

For South Carolina and Florida - Station, Hilton Head, Charles Field and Noble F. Dunshee.

For Georgia and Alabama - Station, Nashville, Norman F. Wood, Isaac C. Brown and William D. Munson.

Mr. Wood was unable to proceed to Nashville, by reason of sickness. Mr. Brown and Lt. Col. Munson proceeded to Nashville, and thence to Marietta, Georgia. Learning that Maj. Gen. Sherman, commanding the Department, was opposed to any recruiting by State Agents, and being informed by the Provost Marshal at Marietta, that enlistments would not be allowed, and that, even if they obtained recruits, no transportation would be furnished for them to Nashville, they judged, that it would be useless for them to attempt doing anything under their commissions, and returned home, without making any effort to obtain recruits in Alabama. Cortez F. Fish was commissioned in place of Mr. Wood, and sent to Nashville; but the other Agents having left for home previous to his arrival there, he was directed to return at once, as it was not deemed advisable, under the circumstances, to retain a single Agent there; and the time, to September 5th, was too short to allow the sending of other Agents to co-operate with him. Mr. Camp also returned home, by reason of sickness, without doing anything under his Commission. The other Agents remained at the Stations assigned to them, and labored energetically and faithfully to accomplish the purpose, for which they were commissioned, -- most of them meeting with but little success. The Agents sent to South Carolina and Florida were by far the most successful, obtaining in the aggregate 102 recruits. Those at the other Stations found but few men, who were willing to enlist, great competition among Agents from other States, and opposition, almost without exception, from all the subordinate officers of the Government. The obstacles in the way of successful effort area clearly stated in the Reports of Col. Veazey and Mr. Howe, stationed in North Eastern Virginia, Lieut. Col. Munson, assigned to Georgia and Alabama, Lieut. Col. Grout, stationed in North Carolina, and Mr. Smith, stationed in South Eastern Virginia, -- which will be found in Appendix C of this Report.

Under the provisions of General Order No. 9, one hundred and forty towns made deposits with the Treasurer to my credit for Southern Recruiting service to the amount, in the aggregate, of $334,600,00. Of this sum there has been expended, for the payment of premiums and expenses of recruiting, the sum of $49,704,50. There have been obtained, from this source 124 recruits, -- making the cost of each recruit $400,85. All the recruits were enlisted for three years' service. The recruits obtained have been apportioned among the towns making the deposits, I the manner provided by General Order No. 9, and the accounts with the several towns are now in progress of settlement.

Much delay in closing the accounts of the Recruiting Agents and making settlements with the towns has been necessarily occasioned by the fact, that Mr. Field and Capt. Dunshee, stationed respectively in South Carolina and Florida, were quite successful in obtaining recruits to the last day of their remaining at their Stations, and were unable to close their business there, so as to leave, until Sept. 12th, and time was consumed by their passage home and the sickness of Mr. Field, immediately upon his return, which rendered it impossible for him, for some days, to present his accounts for examination and adjustment.

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