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[552] to the town where they properly belong. For these errors, discrepancies, and omissions the parties blame the Adjutant-General, or the clerks in his office,—with what justice let the following facts show.

The rolls in this office show the names of about eighty-five thousand men. It would be strange, if, in making out these rolls, there should not have been some errors; but I believe them to be the most correct rolls in the possession of any State; and I know this is the opinion of Major Breck, U. S. A., who is the officer having the charge of the rolls in Washington. If they are not correct, it has not been the fault of any one in this office; for, from the very beginning of the Rebellion until now, it has been the constant and unremitting endeavor of every one in this office to have the rolls correct.

But it appears that the gentlemen who find fault suppose that the rolls are made in this office, and under my immediate supervision; when the truth is, the rolls are made at the camps, by the officers in charge. When it is reported to me that a company or regiment is recruited to the proper standard, and the muster-rolls completed, an order is issued to the United-States mustering officer to go to camp, and muster it in. Three copies of the roll are made out: one is sent to the War Department, one is retained by the captain of the company, and one is sent to me.

These rolls are properly signed by the mustering officer, who certifies, ‘on honor,’ that they are correct. I then issue an order to the officer in command of the camp to have the ‘descriptive roll’ made out; and he has always been urged to see that they are made out correct. Before the company or regiment leaves the State, these rolls are deposited in this office, and are open to the inspection of any responsible person who wishes to examine them.

At the commencement of the Rebellion, and up to a very recent day, the muster-rolls used by the United-States authorities did not show the residence of the person; and it was on account of this defect that I had a form of blank made, which is known as a ‘descriptive roll;’ on this roll the residence of the person is given, and it has been from this roll that certificates for the State aid have been issued. These rolls have been regarded as so correct, that the Adjutant-General of the United States has requested copies for his office, where the muster-rolls of Massachusetts regiments or companies have been lost, or were never returned to his office.

Your Excellency will see, by the above simple statement, that the rolls, about which complaint is made, are not made by me, or by any one in this office. They are made in the several camps, under the supervision of officers appointed by your Excellency to command them.

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