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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1864 Report

New Organizations

The only new organizations raised in the State during the year are the Seventeenth Regiment of Infantry and the Third Battery of Light Artillery. These organizations were authorized by the War Department, July 2, 1863, under General Order No. 191, and were directed to be raised by General Order No. 2 of the Governor of this State, dated August 3, 1863. That order was issued soon after the Nine Months' Regiments were mustered out of service, and from information obtained from the officers of those regiments, it was supposed, that the new organizations authorized would be speedily filled by re-enlistment of men, who had served in those regiments. But, from various reasons, operating upon the Nine Months' men, very few of them re-enlisted, and the raising of the new regiment and battery progressed very slowly. On the 7th of September, the War Department authorized the enlistment, for these organizations, of men who had never served, but restricted the bounty for such recruits to $100,00. Although repeated applications were made by the governor, to have the recruits for new regiments, who had never served, placed upon the same footing, in respect to bounty, with other recruits of the same class, the applications were not successful, and the War Department, having offered a bounty of $300,00 to recruits who had never served, limited it to those, who should enlisted in old regiments. This decision was made October 6th. Notwithstanding this, recruiting for the regiment and battery continued with fair success, until the call of Oct. 17th, for 300,000 volunteers for old regiments; and, under the apportionment of quotas made by General Order NO.2 of the Governor of this State, dated Nov. 2, 1863, which was based upon the assignment of quotas by the War Department in the communication of Oct. 19th, charging the State with the deficiency under the draft, and by which order the quotas for this deficiency were assigned to the new regiment and battery, recruiting for these organizations received a fresh impetus.

But when the telegram from the War Department, dated November 5, 1863, was received, announcing, that, if the quota under the call for 300,000 volunteers to fill old regiments were raised, no draft would be made on the fifth of January, the towns generally devoted their entire efforts to the filling of that quota, and restricted their bounties to recruits who would enlist for old regiments; and recruiting for new organizations almost entirely ceased, until the issue of General Order No. 6 (Appendix A,) dated December 21, 1863, announcing that recruits, mustered into new organizations previous to January 5th, would be credited towards the quota under the call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17th. The number of recruits for the new organizations, and especially for the battery, began then sensibly to increase. And on the first day of January, 1864, the Third Battery, Capt. Romeo H. Start, was mustered into the service of the United States, with 151 officers and men.

On the 31st of December the decision the War Department, in respect to bounties, was reversed, and information was received, that the bounty of $300,00 would be paid to recruits for the Seventeenth Regiment and the Battery until January 5th. This decision came too late, to be of any essential service, except to the men, who had previously enlisted.

On the 5th of January, company A of the Seventeenth Regiment, Capt. Stephen F. Brown, was mustered in, with ninety officers and men.

On the 14th of January, the bounty was extended to recruits, who enlisted for the Seventeenth Regiment subsequent to January 5th; but, as the quota of the State had been filled, and very few of the towns were paying any bounty, recruiting for the regiment made but little progress. On the 23d of January, General Order No. 8 (Appendix A) was issued, with a view of completing the filling of the deficiency under the draft, charged in the letter of the War Department of October 19th, which yet remained in force, and filling the regiment if possible. This was followed, o the 1st of February, by the call for 500,00 men; and while it was understood, that this was an independent call for 200,000 men, in addition to the call for 300,000 of October 17th, considerable progress was made in recruiting. But when the quotas and credits under that call were announced, and it was found, that, instead of being a call for men, it was merely a reduction of the quota under the draft, previously announced in the communication of October 19th, and, as a consequence, instead of there being a deficiency under the draft, there was really a credit, and that thereby nearly every town in the State was credited with a large surplus over all calls, there appeared to be no inducement in towns to offer bounties or raise men. Believing, however, that this condition of things was not what it appeared, and that additional calls, and perhaps to a large amount, must inevitably be made, the towns were urged to continue to raise men, and were assured, that there would be no time, when recruits could be obtained so readily, or with so little expense.

A few of the towns, making wise provision for the future, continued to offer bounties and increase their surplus credit; and those towns obtained men for bounties varying from $25,00 to $300,00, and thereby avoided the necessity of raising an equal number of men under the call of July 18th, and paying the extremely large bounties then required, in order to obtain men. Some progress in filling the regiment was thus made. On the first of March, Company B, Capt. Andrew J. Davis, was mustered in, with eighty-three officers and men. On the second of March, company C, Capt. Frank Kenfield, was mustered in, with eighty-six officers and men. And on the fourth of March, Company D, Capt. Henry A. Eaton, was mustered in, with eighty-three officers and men. The call of March 14th, for 200,000 men, extinguished the surplus credit of many of the towns, and gave enlistments for the regiment a little aid. And on the twelfth of April, Company E, Capt. George S. Robinson, company F, Capt. Lyman E. Knapp, and Company G, Capt. Eldin J. Hartshorn, were mustered in, each with eighty-three officers and men. These seven companies left the State on the eighteenth of April. After this, enlistments for the regiment were obtained very slowly. On the nineteenth of May, Company H, Capt. Charles W. Corey, was completed and mustered in, with eighty-three officers and men, and immediately left the State. And on the sixth of July, Company I, Capt. Daniel Conway, was mustered in, with eight-eight officers and men, and was at once ordered to join the other companies, and left the State.

As neither substitutes nor drafted men could be assigned to this regiment, and enlistments for the regiment were not allowed for a less term than three years, the call of July 18th, for 500,000men did not materially aid the progress of recruiting for it. By the energy and perseverance, however, of Col. Francis V. Randall, who had been designated to command of the regiment, but who could not be mustered into the service of the United Sates until Company K was completed, a sufficient number of recruits were obtained and mustered in to fill that company, and it was organized on the twenty-second of September, 1864, John L. Yale, Captain, and is now at the General Rendezvous at New Haven, Conn., awaiting the completion of its rolls.

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