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I certify, on honor, that I have minutely inspected the volunteer,

— —, previously to his enlistment, and that he was entirely sober when he enlisted; that, to the best of my judgment and belief, he is of lawful age; and that, in accepting him as duly qualified to perform the duties of an able-bodied soldier, I have strictly observed the regulations which govern the recruiting service.

Then follows a description of the person recruited.

Only last week, a roll was presented at this office of sixty-four men in the navy, with a request that they be credited to a certain town in this vicinity, sworn to by the chairman of the selectmen, that the men ‘were legal citizens of said town, and liable to do military duty therein.’ And yet thirty-six of these men were rebel prisoners, taken at Missionary Ridge, Tenn., sent to the military prison at Rock Island, Ill., where they took an oath of allegiance, and afterwards sent to Massachusetts, where they were enlisted as sailors, and were put on board the receiving ship “Ohio.” Not a man of them had ever been in Massachusetts before.

I do not state these facts to find fault with town or city authorities: I have daily evidence of their arduous, patriotic, and ofttimes ill-requited labors. And if they have trusted bad men, and paid their money upon false statements, they have done so with an honest purpose, and with a belief that they were doing the best they could for their several constituencies. They, however, should be upon their guard, and should act upon the same principle in paying local bounties, that I do in paying State bounties; which is, not to make out a payroll for State bounties, until I have a roll in this office, signed by the mustering officer, showing the city and town to which the men are credited.

Many of these brokers are sharp practitioners. They work for money, and not for the cause; their motto seems to be, ‘to suckle armies, and dry-nurse the land.’ I wish to state, that in every instance where it has been in my power to correct rolls, and give the towns the proper credit, I have done what I could to accomplish it. I have written frequently to Washington on the subject, sometimes with success, sometimes without. I have also had frequent interviews with Major Clarke for the same object; and he has done what he could to correct errors growing out of the vicious system of recruiting through irresponsible and corrupt brokers.

To show how easy it is to cheat, I will relate a circumstance that happened only the day before yesterday. Two men, belonging to Topsfield, enlisted for that town in Lieutenant Holmes's office, who is himself a citizen of Topsfield; they were mustered in, one for Uxbridge,

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C. C. Holmes (1)
James Freeman Clarke (1)
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