Lewis Ellsworth to Richard Yates


Lewis Ellsworth to Richard Yates


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Naperville Ill Dec 31 1864

To His Excellency

Richard Yates

Governor State of Illinois

Dear Sir

On the 25th of Febry 1862 I was appointed and commissioned by the Presdt of the US. Allotment Commissioner from the State of Illinois. March following I commenced my official duties by visiting Troops yet in camp. Subsequently I visited troops from Illinois in the field. I have the satisfaction of reporting the procurement of the allotment to soldiers families of some $500,000. the obstacles interposed by interested parties, sutlers and others, made the procurement of allotments more difficult than otherwise would have been; notwithstanding great benefit to soldiers families has been the result of the efforts of myself and Mr M E Worrell, the other allotment Comissioner.

The law passed by Congress Dec 1861 authorizing the appointment of allotment commissioners; which I herewith annex together with correspondence between the [Comissioners?] & Paymaster General of the U. S. A. provides that no pay or emoluments

whatever shall be received by said commissioners from the Treasury of the United States. To have assessed a percentage upon the soldier making allotments of portion of his pay would not only have been an injustice as well as resulting in preventing further allotments by creating a prejudice against the system. There was an expectation that the several states would pay their respective allotment Commissions. Most of the States have already paid their commissions.

In your anual message to the Legislation two years since you recommended that proper compensation be paid the allotment Commissions of this state which was not acted upon by that body.

I herewith append my account of services rendered & monies expended in the discharge of my official duties

Which is Most Respectfully submitted

Lewis Ellsworth

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR ALLOTMENT CERTIFICATES AMONG THE VOLUNTEER FORCES BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, That the President of the United States shall appoint for each State having volunteers in the United States service, not exceeding three persons, who shall be authorized by the President's commission to visit the departments of the army in which volunteers from their respective States may be, and there procure from said volunteers from time to time their respective allotments of their pay to their families or friends, duly certified in writing, and by them, or by some commissioned officer of such department, attested in pursuance of such orders as may be made for that purpose by the Secretary of War, and upon which certified allotment, the several paymasters shall at each regular payment of the troops give drafts payable in the city of New-York to the order of such persons to whom such allotments were or may be made.

SEC. 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED. That each of the persons appointed as commissioners to carry into effect the preceding section of this act shall receive no pay or emoluments whatever, from the Treasury of the United States.

SEC. 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED. That the fifth section of the act of 12th June, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight, giving sutlers a lien on soldier's pay, be, and the same is hereby repealed, and all regulations giving sutlers rights and priveleges beyond the rules and articles of war, be, and the same are hereby abrogated.

The foregoing is a correct copy of the act as it was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives.

Dec 27, 1861

W.J. McDONALD Principal Clerk of the Secretary of the Senate.


We desire to call the attention of Illinois soldiers to the above law, and to explain, as far as may be necessary to enable every soldier to comprehend fully the intention of the government respecting allotments, so that all may avail themselves of the provisions of the law.

After having determined what portion of his pay he can regularly send to his family or friend, each soldier will enter such amount on the allotment roll, with the name and address of such person as he wishes to send to.

For this amount paymasters are required by law to prepare drafts on the Assistant United States Treasurer, at New-York City, drawn to the order of the party named on the roll, which will be issued at the pay-table at each payment of troops, and the balance paid in cash.

These drafts can be sent by mail to any part of the country, or expressed, and if lost by accident, or falling into the hands of the enemy, or any other party than such as named on the draft, so that id does not reach its proper destination, the Assistant Treasurer has provided for issuing duplicates, upon statement of the facts; thus no loss can occur. Express companies do not guarantee against such losses. The drafts, being on the United States Treasury, when endorsed by the assignee are of equal value with treasury notes in all parts of the country, so that they can be freely used in every neighborhood, or if desired may be laid up until such time as the soldier returns to his home and business.

The drafts are good as long as the Government exists.

Thus it will be seen the government has provided a perfectly safe, convenient and expeditious method by which to forward money free of cost, at its own risk and without the intervention of any third party.

We annex the Paymaster General's circular, containing instructions for making out and forwarding rolls.

In order to be prepared with necessary papers to procure duplicate drafts when a loss occurs, we desire the rolls when completed to be forwarded to us, so that we can take copies, and see that all possible expedition is used in transmitting to the proper department. This is necessary, also, that we may be enabled to give information to those interested in particular company rolls, where the payments are not regular.

As far as practicable we will visit Illinois Regiments in the field; such as we cannot reach will be furnished with blanks and circulars by mail, and the return rolls can be forwarded to us in the same manner.

Your Commissioners will use every effort to procure all the advantages intended by the law, and will answer promptly all letters of inquiry addressed to us, regarding rolls made out and forwarded.

We believe that every soldier who desire to economise will find it to his interest to carefully consider the advantages of the system.


LEWIS ELLSWORTH, Naperville, Ill.


Paymaster General's Office Washington City, Jan., 17th 1863

Messrs. Lewis Ellsworth and Milton E. Worrell, Allotment Commissioners of State of Illinois

GENTLEMEN:---Your letter with reference to the Act of congress of 27th Dec., 1861, entitled "An Act to provide for allotment certificates among the volunteer forces," has been received.

With regard to the proper mode of making out allotment rolls and the rules relating to the same the following statements are made for your guidance.

The Rolls should be sent to the Paymaster General's office, or to the office of the Senior Paymaster of the District where the regiment is serving, and always in time to be put in the hands of the Paymaster of the Regiment before payment is made to same. These rolls should be accompanied by a statement of the station of the Regiment, and whenever possible, by a memorandum of the section of country it is likely to serve in.

A roll should be made for each company, to embrace ALL in that company desiring to make allotments.

Revocations or changes of allotments will only be allowed where the written consent of the assignee is produced, or in special cases of necessity, on a statement of the causes for such revocation or change to be certified by the commanding officer of the regiment, etc. The revocation will be noted on the allotment roll and witnessed by the commanding officer aforesaid.

Each soldier will only be allowed to allot to one person. Special or limited allotments for a certain time only will not be permitted. Where a soldier is paid on a hospital muster roll, or away from his company, or where paid on his discharge papers the payment will be in full to him, without reference to his allotment.

The allotments will be paid to the soldiers themselves in the shape of checks on the Assistant Treasurer of the United States at New-York, drawn to the order of the assignee. The soldiers must forward such checks to their respective assignees.

Where a check is lost before payment, application (giving number, amount, date and person in whose favor drawn) should be made to the Assistant Treasurer of the United States, in New-York, to know whether same has been presented for payment. On the certificate of that officer that such check has not been paid and will not be if presented in future, the Paymaster drawing such check will issue a duplicate.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T.P. ANDREWS, Acting Paymaster General, U.S.A.



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