The Conscription act Explained.
The following regulations of the War Department, in relation to the act of Congress known as the Conscription Act
, are published by authority, for the information of the public:
Enrollment and Disposition of recruits.
An officer not below the rank of Major will be detailed for each State to take charge of the enrollment mustering in, subsistence, transportation, and proposition of the recruits ruled under this act.
Application will be made immediately to the Governor of the several States for permission to employ State officers for said confinement, and in case such permission is not granted, officers of the army will be selected by the Department to perform the duty, under such regulations as may be prescribed.
Where State officers are employed, the regulations of the respective States just regard to military enrollment will be observed, as for us applicable.
- 3. The enrolled men in each State will be collected the camps of instruction by the officers in command of the recruits, the said camps to be selected with difference to health, and the institution for obtaining resistance and transportation.
The member of those camps shall not exceed two with the authority from the department and to allowed a quartermaster and a commentary.
- 4. The commandants of the camps of in the several States will call upon the commanding the military departments in which their company may be granted for component drill officers to instruct the recruits, and will prepare them for the field at rapidly as possible.
They will cause them to be promptly vaccinated, and in ordering them to the field will, as far as practical, persons those who have passed through the usual camp distance.
They will establish hospitals in connection with their camps and make requisition for such medical attendance and stores as may be required.
- 5. The commandants of regiments, battalions, squadrons, and unattached companies, in service on the 16th instant, will send copies of their muster rolls to the commandants of the proper camp of instruction to their respective States with officers to take charge of such recruits as may be furnished to said corps.--The said commandants will apportion the recruits among such corps in proportion to the deficiency of each except when otherwise specially directed by the department, stocking as far as practicable, to each such corps the men from the regions of country in which it has been raised.
They will, from time to time, send off such bodies of recruits as are ready for the field, and will report on the first Monday in every month the number of recruits in camp, their condition, the number sent off during the month, and the regiments and corps to which they were sent.
- 6. The commandants of regiments and corps will distribute the recruits among their several companies, and in such as have not the number of companies allowed by law to a regiment, the said commandants may organize the required number of new companies, after first filling up the existing companies to the minimum numbers required by law — that is to say, for each company of infantry, 84 private of cavalry, 60 privates; of artillery, 70 privates.
- 7. The recruits will be apportioned among the several arms of service, according to their respective wants, consulting as far as practicable the preference of the men. Where a greater number offer for a particular arm than can be assigned to it, the distribution will be determined by lot; but recruits for the cavalry will only be taken from those who furnish their own horses.
Volunteers for Enlisting Corps.
- 8. Persons liable to military service under the above act; not in service on the 16th of April, and wishing to volunteer in any particular company in the Confederate service on the 16th of day of April, may report themselves prior to their enrollment at a camp of instruction in their respective States, where they will be enrolled, prepared for the field, and sent to the said company until the same shall be filled up.
Recruiting officers may be detailed, with the permission of the Generals commanding military departments, by the commandants of regiments and corps, and sent to their respective States for the purpose of receiving for such regiments and corps, in conformity with recruiting regulations heretofore adopted, (General Order No. 6.) volunteers desiring to join them.
Such volunteers may be assembled at the camps of instruction in their respective States, prepared for the field, and sent to their respective regiments and corps until the same shall be filled up; or if ready for the field, may be ordered directly to their corps by the officer so recruiting them.
III.--volunteer Corps heretofore authorized.
- 10. Persons liable to military service under this act, and not in service on the 16th day of April, may, until the 17th day of May next, volunteer in corps heretofore authorized to be raised by the Secretary of War, or by the Executive of any State, as part of the quota thereof, in pursuance of a call made upon each State by the President.
Persons authorized to raise such corps, who may not on that day have the necessary number of men enrolled and mustered into service according to the terms of their authority, will proceed with their men to a camp of instruction in their respective States, and will deliver their muster cells to the commandant thereof.
- 11. The commandants of such corps as are completed on or before the 17th day of May, and not otherwise ordered, will report to the commandants of the recruits of their respective States, and with their corps will be placed by him in a camp of instruction, and report immediately to the department.
Such corps will be under the command of the commandants of recruits in their respective States, and will be prepared for the field in like manner with the recruits, until removed from the camp.
They will only be moved under orders from the department, from the Commanding General of the army, or, in urgent cases, from the Commanding General of the military department in which the camps may be situated; and in such cases report will immediately be made to the department by the officer in command of the camp.
IV.--Additional Corps — Guerrilla service.
- 12. Under the prohibition of this act against the organization of new corps, no further authority for that purpose can be given, except that specially provided for in the act of Congress, entitled ‘"An Act to organize bands of Partisan Rangers."’ For this latter purpose, applications must be made through the Commanding Generals of the military departments in which the said corps are to be employed.
V.--Reorganization of twelve months Corps.
- 13. All regiments, battalions, squadrons, and companies of twelve months voulunteers, will reorganize within forty days from the 16th of April, by electing all their officers which they had a right heretofore to elect, and on such days as the brigade commander may proscribe, and the brigade commanders are hereby ordered to fix and announce the day for such reorganization as soon as practicable No person who is to be discharged, under the provisions of the act, will take part in such election.
- 14. The form of holding and certifying the elections will be in conformity with the laws of the State from which the men, or the major part thereof, may come; and when the election of field officers is to be made by company officers, the latter will be first elected.
All certificates of election will be returned to the Adjutant General's office, and the officers will be commissioned by the President.
They will, however, on receiving a copy of the certificate of election, immediately enter upon duty.
Officers not re-elected will be relieved from duty, and the brigade commander will return their name to the department.
VI.--Corps raised for local defence.
- 15. Corps raised for local defence will retain their organization during the term of such enlistment, unless previously disbanded; but members of such corps may volunteer into corps for general service as hereinabove provided.
- 16. When any company now in service for twelve months shall, before the 16th day of July next, attain the maximum numbers prescribed by the act, without including the men under 18 and over 35 years of age, all such men may be discharged, and such of them as remain in service on the said day, will, upon their application, be then discharged, whether such maximum be attained or not.
- 17.--The right to change company or corps in virtue of re-enlistment ceases to exist by the repeal of all laws in regard to re-enlistment, but transfers of individuals or of companies may be made as heretofore, within the discretion of the department.
- 18. When any person liable to military duty under this act, but not yet mustered into service in any company, desires to furnish a substitute, he shall report himself, with the substitute, to the commandant of a camp of instruction, and if the substitute be lawfully exempt from military duty, and on examination by a surgeon or assistant surgeon be pronounced sound, and in all respects fit for military service, he may be accepted and enrolled, and the person furnishing such substitute may be discharged by the commandant of the camp.
But no substitute shall be entitled to transportation or other allowance at the expense of the Government until so accepted and enrolled.
- 19. Persons claiming exemptions from military duty under this act, shall be required by the enrolling officer to make oath that they are lawfully exempt under the act of Congress, and shall be furnished by him with a certificate of such exemption.