The first six months of 1864 were chiefly devoted by the Governor
and other State officers, and the city and town authorities, to raising recruits, forming new regiments, and paying bounties.
The new enrolment of the State
, made under the general supervision of State and United-States
authorities, did not give satisfaction in many localities, and bore with great hardship especially upon our seaport and fishing towns, many of their young men being already in the naval service, for whom they received no credit.
The files of the Governor
's and the Adjutant-General
's office show that several thousand letters were received and written, bearing upon this subject.
Most of the letters from the State House
were written by the assistant Adjutant-General
, Major William Rogers
, and were addressed to the authorities in the different towns, correcting mistakes in the returns made in the enrolment, explaining the orders received from Washington
relating to the draft, and urging the necessity of furnishing volunteers to fill their quotas, and thus to avoid conscription.
Many of the town officers were inexperienced, and were oftentimes defrauded by a class of men who represented themselves as recruiting agents, who had men at their command, to fill quotas for a certain sum of money.
The town authorities, anxious to avoid a draft, gave a too willing ear to the representations of these men, and paid the town's money, before the men had been mustered in, and proper credits given to the towns.
When the muster and descriptive rolls were received at the State House
from the United-States mustering officers, and from the various camps of rendezvous, they did not show, in many instances, that the men had been enlisted, and were credited to the towns which had advanced the local bounty; so that towns which were supposed to have filled their quotas were still deficient in the number of men required of them.
These failures caused much dissatisfaction, and, as a matter of course, the blame was attributed to the Adjutant-General
, who it was supposed made out the rolls, and gave the credits, neither of which were true.
These failures to obtain credits were discussed in some of the newspapers in the State
, and especially in a paper called the Vineyard Gazette, published in Edgartown, Dukes County