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System of United States Provost Marshals authorized by War Department General Order No. 140, dated September 24, 1862. System created to assist loyal states in the arrest, confinement & return of deserters or stragglers to their respective regiments, apprehending individuals enticing soldiers to desert & holding them for trial in civil courts, investigating frauds upon the government or involving enlistments, searching for government property embezzled or stolen, quelling disturbances occurring in army barracks, issuing certificates of identity & loyalty to enable citizens when at Washington to obtain passes to family or friends located within the lines of the army & maintain list of deserters, arrests made & record of all disbursement of rewards and expenses of the office. William E. Hamlin appointed special Provost Marshal for Rhode Island by the President of the United States, September 25, 1862. On December 19, 1862 he was also commissioned by Governor William Sprague as Major with the Sixth Rhode Island Volunteers (organization not completed) but immediately relieved of duty to continue in capacity as United States Provost Marshal. System of special state Provost Marshals remained until Conscription Act passed by Congress March 3, 1863. Act created a Provost Marshal General & established provost marshals to represent each congressional district with the rank of Captains of Cavalry. William E. Hamlin continued in his capacity as Provost Marshall and was chosen to administer the first congressional district. Alfred Blair Chadsey of Wickford was appointed Provost Marshall for the second district April 30l, 1863. Conscription Act of Congress also established Boards of Enrollment for each district for the purpose of administering the draft and examining recruits with provost marshals serving as president. William Y. Knight was appointed Commissioner for the first district & Dr. Charles G. McKnight Surgeon. In the second district, James H. Coggeshall served as Commission & Dr. F. H. Peckham Surgeon. All appointees received their commissions from the President of the United States. Author: Kenneth S. Carlson
07/13/1886. We do not anticipate any accruals at this time.
Restrictions: No special restrictions unless otherwise specified
Rights: Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns
Acquisition Note: Source: William E. Hamlin, Estate. Transfer pursuant to General Assembly Resolution # 14 making an appropriation of $2,500.00 for preserving the military records of the State, approved Feb. 28, 1883. Adjutant General authorized to contract with administrator of estate of William E. Hamlin for delivery of official papers in capacity as Provost Marshall General for Rhode Island, July 13, 1886. Amount of $50.00 appropriated to family for expenses relating.
Report of the Unites States Provost Marshall for Rhode Island, William E. Hamlin, Made to His Excellency William Sprague at his Request and by him Presented to the General Assembly at its January Session, 1863, Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly, May 1862 - January, 1863, Appendix #6
Stone, Edwin W., Rhode Island In the Rebellion, George H. Whitney, Providence, 1865
Preferred Citation: [Title], [ID number], Rhode Island State Archives
Scope and Contents: Register of Rhode Island citizens applying for permits for travel upon oath to return for military service if required. Includes date, signature of applicant, residence, destination & remarks