|Official Gubernatorial portrait of Nathaniel Head|
Natt Head, Adjutant and Quartermaster General of New Hampshire, visits the Petersburg front during the December of 1864, and reports on some of the desertion issues that had arisen with the new enlistees . . . who, we have learned, were not always real enlistees.
General Head Quarters State of New Hampshire,
Adjutant and Quartermaster General's office,
Concord, May 20th, 1865.
To His Excellency Joseph A. Gilmore, Governor and Commander-in-chief:
. . .
On the afternoon of the 21st, I made a visit to the Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh Regiments* with which some of my party were quartered during my entire stay on the left. I found Col. Harriman, Col. Titus, Lt. Col. Cogswell, Lt. Col. Bixby and their subordinates in excellent health and spirits. All however were clamorous for reinforcements and justly complaining of the character of the men whom we had lately sent to their regiments. Indeed this complaint was very general among the officers of all our regiments and supported by statistics which should startle the people of New Hampshire. One or two examples will illustrate the nature of the evidence which was laid before us on this subject. During the twelve months preceding my visit three hundred and twenty-eight substitutes had been sent to the Ninth New Hampshire. Of this number only one hundred and forty were ever received. The remainder, one hundred and eighty-eight in number, helped materially to fill our quota, but were not of the least possible service in the field. They cost the State, at a low estimate, one hundred thousand dollars. Since the organization of the Eleventh Regiment, six hundred and fifty-two men had been sent to it; of this number not more than two hundred could be satisfactorily accounted for. The Fifth New Hampshire, (than which no regiment has a more honorable record,) had been recently moved back from the front because its men could not be trusted on picket. Thirty of them deserted in one night. Several had been hung for desertion to the enemy, others were awaiting trial at the time of my visit.
-Military history of New-Hampshire
Chandler Eastman Potter, George Augustus Marden
*All of theses regiments appear to have been together at the time in H.B. Titus' brigade of Griffin's division. While the Fifth was the only New Hampshire in Nelson Miles' division of the II Corps.