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John A. Peters Transcript
Bangor, April 13, 1864
Yours of the 11th is received. The question you ask shows the folly of that bounty bill. I told them so and they wouldn’t listen. The rumor about the small & poor towns did it. Demagogueism did it. But I didn’t suppose you would pay a vast attention to it. The military is superior to the civil. Inter arma leges silent.
About a soldier’s residence, where is it? It is any where he pleases. Any man can make his own residence where he pleases, and it takes only a moment to make it, if it is actual. He can reside in Brewer today & tomorrow in Bangor. Residence is not settlement. Five years residence is a settlement. A man can make a new residence for the purpose of enlisting, just as much as he can make a residence in a new town for the purpose of practicing law, selling merchandise, or the like. A town has no hold on a man because he has residence in such town, and does not now reside there.
Your question answers itself: a man living in a town where its Octo. quota is not full, if the town won’t have him, cannot be enlisted under the $300 bounty. You must see the quota full; or you must reside him somewhere else; or you cannot have him. Towns should fill their old quotas, but it would have been well to have left some discretion with your department. Not having done so, I would take some discretion in cases the most imperative.
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