On ground of policy, it seems to be obvious that colored substitutes should be encouraged. Give me the slave as soldier rather than his master. If not too late, I hope this matter will be carefully examined; but it never can be too late to give a proper interpretation to a most important statute.
Believe me, dear sir, faithfully yours,
[JULY 26 (?), 1863.]
Colonel JAMES B. FRY,
DEAR SIR: I am constantly pressed with inquiries about the rule upon which the draft is made in different districts. You will oblige me if you will send by General Waterbury, who is a member of my staff, a few statements which will [be] of great service to me. I understand from Governor Morgan that the number of persons in each district liable to duty is ascertained by enrollment; that they are divided into two classes by age; that the draft in each district is a certain percentage upon the number thus enrolled. If this is the rule I wish you would so state it to me. Any information you can give to General Waterbury with propriety I hope you will afford him.
WAR DEPT., PROV. MARG. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 57.
Washington, D. C., July 27, 1863.
The following "opinion" in relation to that part of section 2 of the enrollment act which says "where there are two or more sons of aged or infirm parents subject to draft, the farther, or if he be dead, the mother, may elect which son shall be exempt," is published, and will hereafter govern:
"The only son of aged and infirm parents dependent, &c.," is absolutely exempt; but where there are two sons, both are subject to draft until an election is made by the parent, and the name of the one one elected should be removed from the list. After draft is made the persons drafted are no longer 'subject to draft," but to duty, and a parent cannot secure the practical exemption of two sons from military duty by waiting until one is drafted and then electing to exempt him.
JAMES B. FRY,
CONFIDENTIAL.] WASHINGTON, D. C., July 27, 1863.
Major General E. R. S. CANBY,
Commanding, &c., New York City:
GENERAL: Major-General Dix has made several applications for large re-enforcements to be sent to New York. I have none that I can send unless I take them from General Meade's army in the field. Should this be done, and he should be defeated, there will be a howl throughout the country against the Administration at Washington.
Do you consider re-enforcements absolutely necessary; and if so, what is the minimum required?
H. W. HALLECK,