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[35] number of these short-term veterans, through influence at the various State capitals, secured commissions in new regiments that were organizing. In country towns too small to furnish a company, the men would post off to a neighboring town or city, and there enlist.

In 1862, men who had seen a year's active service were selected to receive a part of the commissions issued to new organizations, and should in justice have received all within the bestowal of governors. But the recruiting of troops soon resolved itself into individual enlistments or this programme ;--twenty, thirty, fifty or more men would go in a body to some recruiting station, and signify their readiness to enlist in a certain regiment provided a certain specified member of their number should be commissioned captain. Sometimes they would compromise, if the outlook was not promising, and take a lieutenancy, but equally often it was necessary to accept their terms, or count them out. In the rivalry for men to fill up regiments, the result often was officers who were diamonds in the rough, but liberally intermingled with veritable clod-hoppers whom a brief experience in active service soon sent to the rear.

This year the War Department was working on a more systematic basis, and when a call was made for additional troops each State was immediately assigned its quota, and with marked promptness each city and town was informed by the State authorities how many men it was to furnish under that call. The war fever was not at such a fervid heat in ‘62 as in the year before, and so recruiting offices were multiplied in cities and large towns. These offices were of two kinds, viz.: those which were opened to secure recruits for regiments and batteries already in the field, and those which solicited enlistments in new organizations. Unquestionably, at this time the latter were more popular.

The former office was presided over by a line officer directly from the front, attended by one or two subordinates, all of whom had smelled powder. The latter office might

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1862 AD (1)
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