War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0635 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., August 7, 1863.

His Excellency Governor SEYMOUR,

Albany, N. Y.:

I send by first mail a letter of which I now telegraph a copy.

A. LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

Washington, D. C., August 7, 1863.

His Excellency HORATIO SEYMOUR,

Governor of New York:

Your communication of the 3rd instant has been received and attentively conspired. I cannot consent to suspend the draft in New York as your request, because, among other reasons, time is too important. By the figures you send, which I presume are correct, the twelve district represented fall into two classes of 8 and 4 respectively. The disparity of the quotas for the draft in these two classes is certainly very striking, being the difference between an average of 2,200 in one class and 4,864 in the other. Assuming that the districts are equal one to another in entire population, as required by the plan on which they were made, this disparity is such as to require attention. Much of it, however, I suppose, will be accounted for by the fact that so many more persons fit for soldiers are in the city than are in the country, who have too recently arrived from other parts of the United States and from Europe to be either included in the census of 1860 or to have voted in 1862. Still, making due allowance of this, I am vet great disparity. I shall direct the draft to proceed in all the districts, drawing, however, at first, from each of the four districts, to wit, the Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth only 2,200, being the average quota of the other class. After this drawing, these four districts, and also the Seventeenth and Twenty-ninth, shall be carefully re- enrolled, and, if you please, agents of yours may witness every step of the precess. Any deficiency which may appear by the new enrollment will be supplied by a special draft for that object, allowing due credit for volunteers who may be obtained from these districts respectively during the interval. And at all points, so far as consistent with practical convenience, due credit will be given for volunteers, and Your Excellency shall be notified of the time fixed for commencing a draft in each district. I do not object to abide a decision of the United States Supreme Court, or of the judges thereof, on the constitutionality of the draft law. In fact, I should be willing to facilitate the obtaining of it, but I cannot consent to lose the time while it is being obtained. We are contending with an enemy, who, as I understand, drives every able-bodied man he can reach into his ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks into a slaughter pen. No time is wasted; no argument is used. This produces an army which will soon true upon our now victorious soldiers already in the field, if they shall not be sustained by recruits as they should be. It produces an army with a rapidity not ot be matched on our side, if we first waste time to re-experiment with the volunteer system already deemed by Congress, and palpably in fact, so far exhausted as to be inadequate; and then more time to obtain a court decision as to whether a law is constitutional which requires a part of those not now in the service to go to the aid of those who are already in it; and still more time to determine