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[431] a rule would be an absurdity. Whoever heard of a regiment being discharged by companies? Toward the end of the service, if such a rule prevailed, the regiment would only have one company, and, when its term was up, the field and staff would be left alone in their glory, without any command; and if each company were to step out by itself, and be sent home, the Government would be under the necessity of finding ten transports to send men back, or else the companies would have to remain where they were, without rations and without pay, until the entire regiment had reached its tenth death.

It is true that some companies are formed and mustered in before others; but in making regiments, there must be a beginning and an ending, and this applies to companies as well as to regiments, for there is always a first man and a last man in a company. Why not apply the same rule to the term of service of men in a company, and let the first who enlisted be the first to be discharged?

But to conclude: The companies which are first mustered in have their pay begin first, which should satisfy the men; and I have no doubt that it does.

Lastly, the terms of service of the nine months men are precisely the same as fixed for the three years men. The term of service of the three years men begins when the regiment is completed; and the propriety of it has never, to my knowledge, been questioned by either officers or men. It is only by a few gentlemen in the nine months service that the question has been raised.

This question continued to be pressed; and the Adjutant-General—though satisfied that his decision was in accordance with common sense, the rules of the Department at Washington, and the Governor of the Commonwealth—submitted the question to the Adjutant-General of the army, whose decision was, that the term of service of a regiment commenced ‘from date of muster — in of the last company;’ which was the same as that given by the Adjutant-General of the State, only differently expressed.

Another class of cases upon which decisions were made by the Adjutant-General, were of men who had expended time to recruit companies for the war, expecting to obtain commissions, but who failed to enlist a sufficient number of men to entitle them to the honor, or to enable the Governor to commission them. A great many of this class of persons petitioned

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