August 10, 1861
Cyrus M. Wormell believed enough in the Union cause in the Civil War that he tried to round up friends and acquaintances in Bethel to join him and to enlist in the militia.
Through April and May of 1861, the young marblecutter borrowed his father’s horse and wagon to visit with potential enlistees.
In June, Wormell was mustered in to the military. Shortly thereafter he sends a letter to Maine Adjutant General John Hodsdon asking to be paid for his time and effort recruiting soldiers.
By August, the bill had not been paid. With Wormell now serving as a Lieutenant with the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment, his father - also named Cyrus - decides to appeal to Hodsdon directly.
The elder Wormell expresses concern that his son benefit from "strict justice."
"I wish you to see that no other gets the pay for that service as he took more pains spent more time and more than any other man in getting up the Company" Wormell writes.
He worries that the money owed to his son might be sent to the wrong person, embezzled, or somehow stolen because "grab games are prevalent in these times."
Wormell wants his son to receive what he earned.
The Adjutant General offers no explanation for the delayed payment, but Wormell’s request could well have been overlooked.
Hodsdon was overseeing all of the elements involved in raising and equipping 10 regiments of 1,000 soldiers each. The effort would result in having more than three times the number of men who had been serving in the state’s militia.
- What was the procedure Hodsdon established for payment of bills related to the War effort?
- What payments were to be made by the State of Maine and what payments were to be made by the federal government?
- Were there procedures established to guard against "grab games" and scams?
- If you were Hodsdon, what procedures would you have had in place to see that claims were honest and properly paid?