I know that our Army needs recruits, and for this, among other reasons, I regret a decision which stands in the way of a prompt and cheerful movement to fill up the thinned ranks of our regiments. New York has never paused in its efforts to send volunteers to the assistance of our gallant soldiers in the field. It has not only met every cal heretofore made, while every other Atlantic and each New England State, save Rhode Island, were delinquent, but it continued liberal bounties to volunteers when all efforts were suspended in many other quxertions are now made to organize new and to fill up old regiments. These exertions would be more successful if the draft was suspended, and much better men than reluctant conscripts would join our armies.
On the 7th instant I advised you by letter that I would furnish the strongest proofs of injustice, if not of fraud, in the enrollments of certain districts. I now send you a full report, made to me by Judge-Advocate-General Waterbury. I am confident when you have read it you will agree with me that the honor of the Nation and of your Administration demands that the abuses it points out should be corrected and punished. You say that "we are contending with an enemy who, as you understand, drives every able-bodied man he can reach into his ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks into a slaughter pen." You will agree with me that even this, if impartially done to all classes, is more tolerable than any scheme which shall fraudulently force a portion of the community into military service by a dishonest perversion of law. You will see by the report of Mr. Waterbury that there is no theory which can explain or justify the enrollments in this State. I wish to call your attention to the tables on pages 5, 6, 7, and 8, which show that in the nine Congressional districts on Manhattan, Long, and Staten Islands the number of conscripts called for is 33,729, while in nineteen other districts the number of conscripts called for is only 39,626. This draft is to be made, upon the first class, upon those between the ages of twenty and thirty-five. It appears by the census of 1860 that in the first nine Congressional districts there are 164,797 males between twenty and thirty-five. They are called upon for 33,729 conscripts. In the other nineteen districts, with a population of males between twenty and thirty- five of 270,786, only 39,626 conscripts are demanded. Again, to show the partisan character of the enrollment, you will find on the twentieth page of Mr. Waterbury's report that in the first nine Congressional districts the total vote of 1860 was 151,243. The number of conscripts now demanded is 33,729. In the nineteen districts the total vote was 457,257, yet these districts are called upon to furnish only 39,626 drafted men. Each of the nine districts gave majorities in favor of one political party. Each of the nineteen districts gave majorities in favor of the other party. You cannot and will not fail to right these gross wrongs.
Truly, yours, &c.,
OFFICE OF THE JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
New York, August 7, 1863.
To His Excellency HORATIO SEYMOUR,
Governor of the State of New York:
SIR: In accordance with your directions I have made the most thorough examination practicable into the manner in which the draft of