War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0503 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

the advantages of drafting in the several districts seriatim would seem to commend that plan to consideration.

In like manner, if one Northwestern State should be taken at a time, the troops could be moved from State to State as the draft progressed and necessity required. These are mere suggestions, made in view of the want of available troops for this particular service at the present time.

If the course recommended should be adopted, or any other which would place such a force at command as to convince bad men from the very outset that resistance would be vain, the draft in Illinois will be consummated speedily and peacefully beyond a doubt; presuming always that it is enforced in New York and other great cities.

But in the present attitude of the disaffected elements here I do not think it would be prudent or safe to begin the draft while the State is so utterly destitute of the means of enforcing it and maintaining order, as this report shows it to be.

I am, colonel, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES OAKES,

Lieutenant Colonel 4th U. S. Cav., Actg. Asst. Prov. March General Illinois.

[Enclosures.]

A.

LEWISTOWN, ILL., June 23, 1863.

Mr. B. F. WESTLAKE,

Provost-Marshal:

DEAR SIR: I wish to inform you that Mr. Luke Elliott, the gentleman I got to enroll Pleasant president, has made his returns with only some dozen names. He is a good, true man, no coward, but could not proceed any further without putting his life in jeopardy at every step. he says they swear the enrollment shall not be made by any one. I have implicit confidence in his word. There is no doubt but that there is a combination in that region, which embraces Astoria, Woodland, Kenton, Isabel, and Pleasant precincts, to resist the enrolling officer,s as I before stated to you that no one could be found as yet to enroll Astoria, and as matters now stand I am satisfied that I cannot get any one to take Astoria nor Isabel, and from what I hear this evening I expect Mr. Collins in Woodland, and Shields in Kenton, will be compelled to stop. Now the question is, what is to be done? Mr. Elliott is advised by some friends to try the civil law, others think it of no use. He says if the civil law is resorted to that some old true Union men would have to be made witnesses, and that they would be killed most likely, as they consider their lives now in danger, and, too, our sheriff and deputy are sympathizers, it is supposed. I have concluded to let this part of the county be as it is for the present. I am going north to-morrow don"t anticipate any trouble, still I may be mistaken. My opinion is that civil process against these traitors would be but a farce, nothing would be accomplished.

Please answer at once.

Yours, &c.,

WM. McCOMB.

B.

SUMMUM ILL., June 22, 1863.

Captain WESTLAKE,

Provost-Marshal:

SIR; I was appointed by the enrolling officer of this county (William McComb) to enroll Pleasant Township.

I this day entered on the