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Historical reports of state acting assistant Provost Marshal's General and District Provost Marshals, 1865

Manuscript/Manuscript on Film
English
Washington, D.C. : National Archives & Records Administration, 1981
5 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.
National Archives microfilm publications; M1163

Notes

Microfilm of original records in The National Archives, Washington, D.C.

"The preparation of historical reports was initiated by a circular letter of April 27, 1865, issued by then General James B. Fry to all acting assistant provost marshals general. This directive, is reproduced on roll 1 of this publication, and required State and district provost marshals to prepare reports giving an account of the operations of their respective offices. The reports were to cover the following: recording and reporting of the enrollment; selecting, notifying, receiving, examining, forwarding, and crediting of draftees; recruiting, examing, mustering, forwarding and crediting of enlistees; and arresting, detaining, and forwarding of deserters. Furthermore, Fry asked for information on difficulties experienced in administering the law and for suggestions that might improve the procedures"--Introd.

"The reports, written between May and October of 1865, usually follow the format outlined in the Provost Marshal General's instructions. In addition, some of the reports include as appendages copies of State and district procedural directives, blank forms, expense accounts, jurisdictional maps, and letters of transmittal"--Introd.

"Of special note are the sections of some of the reports that discuss the difficulties encountered in carrying out the enrollment. Because of their opposition to the war or their misunderstanding of the law, many citizens and aliens physically resisted the draft to such an extent that riots ensued in New York City, Chicago, Harford County, Md., and Lancaster, Pa. In California, long distances, poor transportation facilities, lack of qualified officers, and payment in paper money made the enrolling and recruiting of men and the arresting of deserters very difficult. In the Midwest, bad weather curtailed exemption hearings in December 1863"--Introd.

"The historical reports are arranged alphabetically by name of state or territory and thereunder numerically by congressional district. At the time of their receipt by the Provost Marshal's Bureau, the reports were handled the same as all other incoming correspondence and entered in the current register of letters received. Each report was marked on its cover page with a file number deriving from the corresponding entry in the register. This designation consisted of the first letter of the author's surname, a number, and the year. The phrase 'Provost Marshal General's Bureau and the date of receipt were stamped at the bottom of the cover page"--Introd.

"The Provost Marshal General's Bureau was created by an act dated March 3, 1863 to regulate, supervise, and fund the enrolling of draftees and the arresting of deserters from the Union Army. On May 1, 1863, the Bureau was given the added responsibility of recruiting volunteers under War Department General Order 111, issued by Asst. Adj. Gen. Edward D. Townsend. The Bureau, however, was discontinued by an act dated July 22, 1866; its remaining functions were transferred to the Enrollment and Disbursing Branches of the Adjutant General's office on August 20, 1866, in accordance with War Department General Order 66"--Introd.

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