The furlough and bounty System.
We have received several letters from volunteers relative to the law recently passed by Congress granting a furlough and bounty to soldiers re-enlisting for the war. There seems to be a willingness to continue in the service of the county, though it is but just is say that the proposed bounty of fifty dollars is the least among the considerations by which they are influenced.
This, however, is not the case with the furloughs; and indeed it is natural that men who have been for a long time in the service should eagerly embrace an opportunity to see their homes and kindred, while we take it that the same patriotic impulses which induced their original enlistment would incite them to struggle on until they are blessed with the reflection that those homes are safe from the infernal purposes of the invader.
The law, as passed by Congress, is liable to criticism in respect is the proposed furloughs; for instance, the second section, which seems to have created a good deal of sensation in the camps, reads as follows:
"That furloughs, not exceeding sixty days, with transportation home and back, shall be granted to all twelve-months men now in service who shall, prior to the expiration of present term of service, volunteer or enlist for the next two ensuing years subsequent to the expiration of their present term of service, or for three years or the war; said furloughs to be issued at such times and in such numbers as the Secretary of War
may deem most compatible with the public ; the length of each furlough being regulated with reference to the distance of each volunteer his .
Since our attention has been called to this we have endeavored to seek a satisfactory explanation of the portion italicized, but in vain; and we do not wonder that it has puzzled the volunteers, with whom it is now the all-absorbing topic.
The furlough cannot exceed sixty days, but it may be for any time less than that; yet, says the act, ‘"it must be regulated with reference to the distance of each volunteer from his home."’ It can hardly be supposed that any soldier would be willing to take the shorter furlough, yet the language certainly implies such a supposition.
If the two portions of the section quoted can be reconciled, we should be happy to communicate the explanation to the soldiers on duty.
We do not know who drafted the bill, but we can as the authorities that unless it is revised and put together in an intelligible form, there is danger that it may fail of its object, which all will concede is commendable and .