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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1865 Report


The whole number of commissions issued from this office, from October 1, 1864, to October 1, 1856, has been 1,230. Of this number, 674 have been issued to the officers of the organized militia.


Careful attention has been given, so far as practicable, in this office to the protecting of the treasury against improper claims for State pay. Frequent and full reports have been forwarded to the Treasurer of all alterations among enlisted men, shown by the rolls, returns, and reports received at this office. Whenever a man has been shown to have deserted, or to be absent without leave, his State pay has been stopped; and in no case, when the facts have been known, has payment been allowed for the time covered by such desertion or absence without leave. In all cases where a forfeiture of all pay and allowances has been ordered by sentence of General Court Martial, or by other competent authority, for present or future time, the State pay has been held affected accordingly. And the State pay of all unassigned recruits has been stopped, when so much time has elapsed, after their muster into the United States service,without report having been received of them, as to create a presumption that they must have deserted, or died on the way to their regiments. In some cases evidence has subsequently been produced, satisfactorily accounting for the absence of the man, and in all such cases payment has been allowed for the time covered by the stoppage; but it is believed that the general rules adopted upon this subject have operated greatly to the pecuniary benefit of the State, and that injustice has not, or will not, ultimately be done to any person. Questions of this character, however, are not infrequently arising for examination and decision, and probably will continue to be made for some time to come. Claim agents are not always careful in the presentation of claims of this character, and their examination and the disposition to be made of them require much caution.


The records and files which have accumulated in this office since the commencement of the rebellion, possess a value which cannot be estimated, and their loss would be irreparable. Constant and earnest effort has been made to keep the record of the soldiers who have entered into the United States service from this State, full and perfect. By aid of the enlistment contracts, preserved on file, the Muster and Descriptive Rolls furnished to me by the mustering officers, the Morning Reports, REturns of alterations and bi-monthly Muster and Pay Rolls, which have been transmitted to me, generally with great promptness and regularity, by the commanding officers of the different Vermont organizations in the field; the Hospital Reports, which have been made to me by the several military agents of this State, and by the surgeons in charge of the three general hospitals in the State; the Reports and Forwarding Rolls obtained from the commandant of the Draft Rendezvous, at New Haven, Conn., and the Muster-out Rolls, which the War Department has ordered should be furnished by all mustering officers of all men mustered out, to the Adjutant General of the State to which the men belong, and the cheerful co-operation of the chief mustering officer and the Acting Assistant Provost Marshal General of this State, and all the subordinate United States' officers in the STate, I have been enabled to keep very full record of the military history of nearly every man in service from this State. The records are in constant use, and will be for along time, in affording the means for answering inquiries made by soldiers and their friends, and by the different departments at Washington, for information affecting the various questions which arise relative to back pay, arrearages of bounty, and pensions. I respectfully suggest that some measures should be authorized for securing the safety of the most important of these records and files from casualty by fire.


Under the direction of the Governor, I caused nineteen hundred and sixty copies of my Annual Report for the year ending October 1, 1864, with all the Appendices to be printer. Copies were distributed to the members of the Legislature, to the several town and county clerks, to the officers of the State, to the several regiments in the field, to the several departments at Washington, to the officers of other States, from whom similar documents had been received; to the members of Congress from this State; to members and officer of Congress from other States, when particularly requested; to public institutions i the State and abroad, and to various citizens of this and other States, when it seemed necessary and proper. Acting upon the suggestion of the Adjutant General of the Army, I have declined to permit them to pass into the hands of professional claim agents in other States, when it could be prevented. The volume is one of great interest and value, not only to all the officers and soldiers from the State, who have served in the army of the United States, and to their friends, but also to all who are, or may be, interested in the history of the State, in connection with the rebellion, and of the noble sacrifices and heroic daring of her citizens and sons. The demand for the volume has been very extensive; many copies could have been sold at a price considerably exceeding their cost, and I have many applications for it now on file. But being a public document, printed at the expense of the State, I have not felt at liberty to make further distribution of it, without special authority. There are now on hand about nine hundred and fifty copies, in respect to which I respectfully request direction. I suggest that one hundred copies be allowed to be retained in the office of the Adjutant and Inspector General, for the future use of the office; that such number of copies as shall be deemed proper be deposited i the office of the Secretary of State, or in the State Library, for future reference, and that suitable provision be made for the distribution of the remainder among the citizens of the State, giving preference to those, so far as practicable, who have served in the army of the United States.


The labor, required to be performed in the office, during the year has been about the same in character, amount, and responsibility, as during the previous year. While the cessation of recruiting, consequent upon the termination of the war, has diminished the amount of service required in that respect, the relief thereby obtained has been more than counterbalanced by the rapid and extensive mustering out of the service of the United States of the troops from this State, requiring great care i the perfecting of the military history of every officer and man connected with the service, and the obtaining of all the information practicable, concerning all men hitherto unaccounted for. This work is not yet complete. the same attention has been paid, during the year, as heretofore, to the subject of town credits. A careful and final account has been prepared of the number of men furnished by each town under every call,a nd of the ultimate standing of each town, under all calls, the recruiting service, while existing, was carefully attended to, the account with the United States, for men furnished, has been carefully kept, and adjusted when necessary; then returns and rolls from regiments in the field, and Hospital returns received, examined, recorded and reported; questions in regard to State pay examined and adjusted; information communicated to the Departments at Washington, and to lawfully authorized agents, affecting the pensions, back pay and bounty of deceased and discharged soldiers; information furnished for enabling officers of discharged regiments to complete their muster-out rolls; recommendations for promotion received, examined, certified and transmitted; commissions made, recorded and forwarded; accounts against the State examined, adjusted, certified, recorded and transmitted for payment; accounts against the United States prepared for presentation; the record of the State enrolment of the militia carefully corrected and perfected; the militia organized; all necessary General and Special Orders prepared and issued under the direction of the Commander-in-Chief; muster and pay rolls of the militia examined, certified and transmitted; militia returns received and recorded; an extensive and varied correspondence attended to, and proper records of it preserved, and various other duties performed incident to the office arising almost daily, which it is impossible to articularize. In addition to this, the preparation of my Report for the present year, and particularly of Appendix D, containing the complete Roster of all the organizations in the field at the commencement of the year, and fully and finally accounting for all members belonging to them, not previously accounted for, has required very great labor and careful attention. I am under very great obligation to the clerks in my office, Henry B. Bradley, Eugene Putnam, James V. Parker, who have been employed in the office during the entire year. Oramel G. Howe, who has been employed until very near the close of the year, Henry S. Knight and Curtis R. Crossman, who have been employed a considerable portion of the year, and Miss Josie S. Deering, a young lady who has been engaged in the officer most of the time for two years,--and especially to Mr. Bradley and Mr. Putnam, having charge of departments in the office,--for their faithful and efficient services during the year. They have all rendered me very great assistance, and their services have been essential and valuable to the State. I would be difficult to find clerks more faithful than they have proved themselves.


The Expenses of the office during the year have been as follows:

For the quarter ending December 31, 1864, $2,518 38
do March 31,1865, 3,210.03
do June 30, 1865, 2,025 05
do September 30, 1865, 1,668.51
$9,421 97

The classification of the accounts is as follows:

Clerks,$4,965 25
Stationery,574 77
Printing,404 34
Telegraph,1,070 89
Postage,699 59
Rent of office, fuel, lights and furniture323 49
Express and transportation,254 39
Miscellaneous and personal expenses,1,129 25
Total,$9,421 97

The vouchers for these expenses have been presented to the Governor for his examination and approval, and have been paid by him by his warrant upon the Treasurer.

Of these expenses the sum or $,9323 27, for extra clerk hire, and for official Telegrams, constitutes part of the claim in favor of the STate against the United States, and is included in the sum of $56,541 73, stated in that connection upon a previous page of this report;and the sum of $2,335 83, for clerk hire, is expense incurred in the organization of the militia, and is included i the sum of $7,158 51, stated on page 117 of this Report.

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