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1864 December 17: How Towns Should Correct the Enrollment Lists

January 3, 2015

Neither of our local newspapers published an issue on New Year’s Eve (December 31, 1864).  We are taking this opportunity to post some articles that we did not have room for earlier.  The following update on the military draft enrollment is from The Polk County Press of December 17, 1864.

About the Enrollment.

Judge Blanding hands us the following letter which he has received from Pro. Mar. Cooper in answer to a letter requesting information.  [William M. Blanding, Provost Marshal Benjamin F. Copper]

HEAD Q’TS. Pro. Mar. 6TH Dis. }
LA CROSSE, Wis., Dec. 9, 1864. }

.       .County Judge, Polk County,

SIR :—I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 1st inst.  In answer I would beg leave to say, that we are very anxious to have the enrollment thoroughly corrected.  To that end we would invite and request the Town Board of Supervisors of the different towns to make corrections, and send them to these Headquarters, a statement sworn to as follows :

1.  The names of all who have permanently moved from the Town since the enrollment of 1863.

2.  The names of all who have enlisted since said enrollment, and are now in the military service of the U. S.

3. The names of all who have died since said enrollment.

These names will be stricken from the enrollment.

4.  The names of all who have moved into town for permanent residence, and all who have become twenty (20) years of age since said enrollment.

These names will be added to said enrollment.  [Give enrollment description of new names as follows—”John Doe” aged 25—white—farmer—born New York.]

We shall be unable to send the enrollment list to the different towns as it would involve more labor than we have time to accomplish.  But if the foregoing statements are properly made out and forwarded, it will accomplish the same object.

You will be unable to obtain credit for men who have enlisted in Minnesota.

In regard to cases of “over age,” they will have to appear before the Board of Enrollment, to have their cases determined.

The best proof that can be procured will be required in such cases.—The best evidence is record evidence, and parties claiming exemption for this reason should be well prepared with the best evidence he can produce.

If any errors have occured [sic] in you credits you can have them corrected.

I bet the Town of Boards will be positive in this matter, as much depends upon them, and the prominent citizens who should aid them as much as possible in making the enrollment a correct one.  I am sir, very respct’y,¹

.             .your ob’t servant,¹
.                       .B. F. COOPER,
Capt. & Pro. Mar. 6th Dist. Wis.

1.  Abbreviations in the standard closing from the time, “very respectfully, your obedient servant.”

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