War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0616 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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of Mr. Kalbfleisch 15,967. The draft, as at present proposed, will throw upon the eastern portion of the State, comprising less than one-third of the Congressional districts, more than one-half of the burdens of the conscription. This is particularly unjust toward New York and Brooklyn, for they have not only furnished their full proportions heretofore, without counting the numbers they have given to the Navy of the country, but they have been the recruiting grounds for others States; and constant complaints are now made that agents from other States are now employed for that purpose within those cities and are hiring persons there to act as substitutes, thus reducing still more the number of persons who will be compelled to meet this undue demand which obliges them to leave their families and their homes and to peril their lives, if they are less fortunate than theirs in their ability to pay the sum fixed as a commutation. I earnestly request that you will direct that the enrolling officers shall submit to the State authorities their lists, and that an opportunity shall be given to me, as Governor of this State, and to other proper State officials, to look into the fairness of these proceedings. Justice to the enrolling officers, to the honor and dignity of the Government, to the people who are so deeply affected, and to the public tranquillity, demands that the suspicions which are entertained shall be removed if they are unfounded. It is just to add that the Administration owes this to itself, as these inequalities fall most heavily upon those districts which have been opposed to its political views. I am sure that this fact will strengthen your purpose to see that justice is done. The enrollments are only completed in about one- half of the districts. The results were sent to me at intervals during the month of July, but were only recently received by me, in consequence of my absence at the city of New York. I am confident you will agree with me that the public interest in every resect will be promoted by affording the fullest evidence of the faithfulness and impartiality with which the conscription is conducted. In the meanwhile large numbers are availing themselves of the bounties offered by the state and National governments, and are voluntarily enlisting, thus mitigating the distress which a compulsory draft necessarily carries into the homes of our people. The Stat of New York offers liberal bounties to those who enlist.

I believe it will be found that the abandonment of voluntary enlistment for a forced conscription will prove to be unfortunate as a policy; that it will not secure either so many or so effective men as that system which one year since gave to this Government the largest army ever raised within so short a space of time by the voluntary action of any people.

I do not propose to discuss in this connection the reasons why the people withhold the support heretofore so cheerfully rendered. Hereafter I shall make that the subject of another communication. But assuming it to be due to the exhaustion of the number of those able to bear arms, it would only prove how heavily this new demand falls upon the productive interest and labor of our country, and it makes another reason why the heavy burthens of the conscription should be tempered by every act calculated to remove suspicions and to allay excitement. Above all, it should induce every effort to get voluntary enlistments, which fall less heavily upon the domestic happiness and business arrangements of our citizens.

I ask that the draft may be suspended in this State, as has been done elsewhere, until we shall learn the results of recruiting which