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Provost Marshal
Forms

 

Field Message
Provost Field Message
Pass
Provost Marshal Statement of Parole
Parole
Statement of Parole
Oath of Allegiance

 

The Dark Side of the PMD was the tremendous amount of paperwork that needed to be filled out by the Provost Marshal!

To this end, the Provost Marshal had at least one clerk, and many more, depending on the size of his office. Several clerks would be under the command of a Chief Clerk.

Arrest and Detention.
THE CHARGE SHEET.
Charges could be "initiated" by anyone, civilian or military, reporting a crime by a person subject to military law.

But charges could only be "preferred" by persons subject to military law. This "accuser" signs the charges and he either initiates them, or adopts them and becomes responsible for them. On August 28, 1861, MG McClellan issued a circular describing the proper method for drawing up these charges.

PETITION FOR CLAIMS.
 Sometimes complaints by citizens against soldiers were for depredations caused by their hand. This petition was for reimbursement for their loss.
 
DEPOSITION.
All statements by accusers or witnesses would be taken down on a special form.
 
ARREST REPORT.
Once charges were filed, the suspect was arrested and an arrest report had to be filled out. Within 24 hours of the arrest, a copy of the charges & arrest report were to be delivered to the offender's commanding officer.

LIST OF PRISONERS.
A list of all Prisoners had to be kept, showing all pertinent information about the prisoner.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT.
The Provost Marshal was bound to conduct an investigation into the alleged crimes. A report of these investigations had to be kept.

VOUCHER.
If depredations were found to be true, a voucher for reimbursement was issued by the Provost Marshal. (This would be taken to a disbursing Quarter Master for cashing)

ORDER FOR TRANSFER.
Often the prisoners had to be sent to the back lines for trial or deposition. An order for this had to be written. Once at the transfer point, the officer accepting the prisoner had to sign for them.

C
OURT-MARTIAL
Although the Provost Marshal did not run the court martial, he was required to be present, and in the field, drum head court martials were often held at his tent. There were also Provost Courts, where the Provost Marshal would act as the judge!

ORDER APPOINTING A COURT MARTIAL.
First an order establishing the court martial or provost court had to be issued.

RECORD OF TRIAL.
The proceedings of the trial had to be recorded. In some cases this had to be submitted to the commanding general, and sometimes even the President himself.  

ORDER OF PROCLAMATION.

After the trial ended, a proclamation of the results had to be made. These were usually endorsed by the commanding general, and sometimes also by the President.

EXECUTION ORDER.
If the sentence demanded death, an Execution Order had to be written. This order would be read by the Provost Marshal at the execution.

Prisoners of War.
All Prisoners of War were to be delivered to the nearest Provost Marshal. These POWs could be dealt with in a number of ways. They could be released on parole, exchanged in the field, or sent to the rear to a prison camp.

LIST OF PRISONERS.
Each POW was required to give his name, rank, and unit to which he belonged. These were recorded on a special form, similar to the one used for Federal Prisoners.

ORDER FOR TRANSFER.
If the POWs were to be sent to the next level of PMO, an order for their transfer had to be written, and the receiving Provost Marshal had to sign a receipt for them.

OATH OF ALLEGANCE.
Some POWs would take the Oath Of Allegance to the US, and be sent to north to be free rather than a POW camp.

OATH OF PAROLE.
Some would take an oath, not to fight against the US until they were duly exchanged. They could then go home, and wait for an official exchange notice from the War Dept., when they were then released from their oath and could once again fight.

REPORT OF POWS PAROLLED.
 A report of those POWs parolled had to be sent to the War Dept., so that they could process them for proper exchange.

  SAFE CONDUCT PASS.
These parolled POWs would either be escorted to their lines, or were given a safe conduct pass to travel their on their own.

  ORDER FOR EXCHANGE IN THE FIELD.
If an exchange was to take place in the field, orders for this had to be issued.

Volunteer Recruiting and Conscription.
Early in 1863, Volunteer Recruiting and Conscription fell under the Provost Marshal's jurisdiction.

ENLISTMENT FORM.
This was filled out by the Provost Marshal for all volunteers.

DESCRIPTIVE LIST OF RECRUITS.
Every accepted recruit had his name and description entered on a special list.

WARRANT.
Those showing leadership abilities were often appointed the temporary rank of Lance Corporal or Lance Sergeant and these would be placed over the other recruits.

TRANSPORTATION OF RECRUITS.
A special form was required for the transportation of these new recruits to the Depot.

DRAFT NOTICE.
The Provost Marshal was also responsible for issuing the draft notices and their enforcement.

LIST OF PERSONS DRAFTED.
Yet another list, this one of persons drafted, was kept. Many persons were disqualified for one reason or another, and certificates for these had to be issued:

CERTIFICATE OF NON-LIABILITY

CERTIFICATE OF EXEMPTION DUE TO DISABILITY

CERTIFICATE OF EXEMPTION DUE TO AGE

CERTIFICATE OF EXEMPTION DUE TO SON OF A WIDOW

CERTIFICATE OF EXEMPTION DUE TO HAVING FURNISHED A SUBSTITUTE

SUBSTITUTE VOLUNTEER ENLISTMENT FORM.
When a substitute was furnished, a special Enlistment form was used.

Civilian Affairs Pass.
All persons applying for admission into Union lines would be escorted to the nearest Provost Marshal who would examine them. Those satisfying the Provost Marshal and taking the Oath of Allegance to the US would be issued a pass.

Oath of Allegance.
Everyone within army lines was required to take the Oath of Allegance to the US.

PERMITS.
All baggage and packages had to be inspected by the Provost Marshal's Dept. for contraband goods. Those passing the inspection would be issued a permit for them to be taken thru the lines. If contraband was found, all would be confiscated.

SAFEGUARDS.
Anyone could apply for a safeguard to protect their property. This might be as simple as the official safeguard document itself, or might also include an armed guard.

PAROLE OF HONOR.
Some civilians were found not to be loyal to the Union and would refuse to take the Oath of Allegance. An alternative to being arrested was to take the Parole of Honor, stating that they would not bear arms against the US, nor aide the enemy in any way. These persons were required to stay within the boundary of their county and were to report to the Provost Marshal every seven days.

Reports, Returns and Correspondence.

MORNING REPORT.
General Orders stated that Provost Marshals were to submit a daily report to the PMG. This was to include a list of the forces under his command, list of Federal and Civilian prisoners, a list of POWs and the disposition of his Provost Guards.

REPORT OF PERSONS ARRESTED.
Usually over a specific period of time, this would give charges and disposition of all prisoners and sub divided as to Federal, Civilian or Confederate prisoners.

REPORT OF BUSINESS AND GENERAL TRANSACTIONS.
This was a monthly report in the form of a letter, subdivided by subjects; and covering all aspects of the PMO.

RETURNS.
Every month the Provost Marshal was to forward to the PMG a Return of their present command, including any civilians employed by them.

ORDERS.
All General or Special Orders would be in letter form. It would state at the head: the source, place and date; and at the foot: the name of the Provost Marshal who issued it.

CORRESPONDENCE.
Official letters were to refer to one subject only. A letter of Transmittal was to accompany all reports, returns and accounts. All correspondence was to be marked on the cover: "Official Business."

DISPATCHES.
A written dispatch is a message sent in haste by a special messenger. The precise time it was sent off was to be written on the cover.

TELEGRAMS.
These also had a special form and were only to be used in urgent and imperative cases.

Accounts, Vouchers Requisitions and Abstracts.
Like any organization within the army, there were various other mundane forms, each with their own special purpose.

REQUISITIONS.
Regular (were for such articles where the allowance is regulated and fixed by law.)

  • FUEL

  • FORAGE

  • STRAW

  • STATIONARY

  • SUBSISTANCE

  • ORDNANCE STORES

SPECIAL. (Where the articles required are rendered necessary for some cause.)                    

ACCOUNTS.
When Provost Marshals found it impracticable to obtain necessary supplies from the normal Military Departments, he could purchase them from private contractors. These accounts would state the items and the cost and from whom purchased.

VOUCHERS.
No Account was to be submitted without a voucher to support it. All vouchers had to be accompanied by the receipt as a sub-voucher. In addition to the above, there were vouchers for:

  • TRANSPORTATION

  • POSTAGE

  • LODGING

  • GENERAL

  • LIST OF VOUCHERS.

ABSTRACTS.
Everything bought, lost, destroyed or expended had to be accounted for in an abstract.

INDEBTEDNESS INCURRED
ARTICLES EXPENDED
MISCELLANEOUS.

  • Various other forms included:

  • FURLOUGH

  • LEAVE OF ABSENCE

  • FINAL STATEMENT

  • DISCHARGE

  • INVENTORY OF EFFECTS

  • NCO WARRANTS

  • CERTIFICATE FOR SICK LEAVE.

The Provost Guard.
THE PROVOST GUARD REPORT.

This was filled out every day showing the Provost Guard available and their disposition as to posts, patrols or other duties.

GENERAL ORDERS TO THE PG.
These were orders that all the provost guards, regardless of their post, were to observe.  

SPECIAL ORDERS TO THE PG.
These were special for each particular post. For example, the PG at the detention area had special orders regarding the prisoners.

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