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[688] of a leave of absence in consideration of a re-enlistment, an ingenious expedient was devised to render this unfortunate promise null and void. The bounty and leave of absence were ensured in principle to all the drafted volunteers; no distinction was made between them; but as the military necessities evidently did not admit of their being all allowed to receive this leave of absence, it was given to none of them, but all were granted, by way of compensation, a sum of money equivalent to their travelling expenses.

This law permitted the introduction of certain regulations and a method, in the formation and recruiting of regiments, yet unknown in the North. The soldiers of a company were not allowed to re-enlist otherwise than in that company, the transfer from one regiment to another by enrolment being a constant cause of frauds and mistakes. The regiments composed of twelvemonth volunteers, which came under the provisions of the new law, were allowed to preserve their organization instead of disbanding, but the officers who held their grades by election were subjected to a new ballot. Companies or regiments which possessed their full complement, after deducting the men who had been drafted, were treated like volunteer corps. All the men comprised in the forced levy who, not having yet contracted any engagement, had not left their places of residence, were detailed to fill up the cadres of standing regiments, so as to maintain their normal strength. The government was authorized to send for them either by its own agents or those of the several States, and to enrol them without delay into the regiments that were most reduced. Those whom it did not deem expedient to incorporate at once could be allowed to remain at their homes without pay and subject to a draft. No rule was laid down to govern its choice between the drafted men and the latter class, which constituted a reserve intended to supply the different depots. They did not, however, remain long in this category; for it was abolished on the 18th of July, 1863, after the great battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, by a proclamation of Mr. Davis, summoning them all to join the ranks of the army without exception. The law of April 16th finally conferred upon the government the requisite authority over the personnel of the officers, by causing it to participate largely in the control of their appointments and

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Jefferson Davis (1)
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