War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0651 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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then if the daft is fairly made the wrong of over-enrollment will be substantially remedied. If the enrolled names are all put in the wheel and fairly drawn, the number of names drawn of those who were liable to enrollment in the district and of those who were not will bear about the same proportion to the total number of the names of each class put in the wheel. There is never such a result as the drawing of a material disproportion of any particular class if a draft is fair. Persons in the same family or business may be drawn, as adjoining numbers may be in a lottery, because the rule of chance requires such instances. No one ever knew, however, in a draft of figures or of letters, that those draft of names, those drawn will be, in respect to all divisions, in a proportion about the same as that of the numbers of the same classes subjected to the draft.

It is of primary importance, therefore, that the names should be fairly drawn. In the drawing in the Ninth District, which is in the city of New York, so far as the list was published, there was a great disproportion of the names of people of a particular lineage, although only one-fourth of the inhabitants of the district were born in Ireland. I called the attention of the President to this fact, and suggested to him that such a result could not be continued throughout the city without being followed by a belief in the public mind that the draft had been unfairly made. He answered, "Of course not," and added, with an earnestness I was glad to observe, "I will not permit either a real or an apparent fraud."

The following regulations for drawing the names will prevent any possibility of fraud:

First. Print the enrollment list of each ward and town, in order that the public may know what names are to be put in the wheel. As the lists are made out in the alphabetical order of the initial letters of the surname, the only trouble or delay will be in the printing.

Second. Have the drawing made by a person to be selected by the local authorities, and each name as drawn read aloud and recorded.

Third. After the draft for conscript is concluded, continue the drawing until all of the names are drawn, in order to prove that all were in the wheel.

Fourth. If the drawing of a town or ward is not finished at one session, confide the wheel during the recess to the joint custody of the provost-marshal and some one to be selected by the local authorities.

These regulations are easy and sufficient. They are in the spirit of Circular Numbers 41 of the Provost-Marshal-General, though more full and comprehensive. I cannot doubt, especially in view of the assurances of the President, that upon application they will be established.

I have reviewed this matter fully, though at greater length than I expected. A large portion of our people believe that the conscription act is unconstitutional, but such can be reconciled by a decision of the proper court, if it sustains the law; if otherwise, the law must be abandoned. Those, however, who claim that the law is unfairly and unjustly administered can only be satisfied by the adoption of a fair course of proceeding. This I am desirous to secure, and I hope my labors to that end may be beneficial to my follow-citizens and useful to you in the discharge of your arduous duties.

I remain, very respectfully and truly, yours, &c.,

NELSON J. WATERBURY,

Judge-Advocate-General.