In the case of an only son of a divorced woman whose husband is still living.
Opinion.- A woman discovered from her husband, who is still living, is not, in the general acceptation of the term, or in the sense of the law, a "widow," a widow being defined to be "a woman who has lost her husband by death." Her only son, therefore upon whose labor she is dependent for her support, is not exempt under the second clause of the second section of the enrolling act. Whether such a claim to exemption might not be allowed in this case, under the third clause of the section, cannot be determined with the proofs before me, since there is no evidence offered that the mother is either aged or inform.
In the case of clerks of naval or military commanders.
Opinion. - I see no sufficient reason for treating the clerks of naval or military commanders as in the military service, within the meaning of the enrolling act.
In the case of a widow having three sons, two of whom are in the naval service.
Opinion. - In the case of a widow having three sons, two of whom are in the naval service, the law must be held to exempt the third, provided the mother is dependent on his labor for he support. The object of the law was to prevent destitute into the military service; but this object would be defeated in the case named if, with two sons in the Navy, the third and only one remaining could be drafted.
In the case of a person convicted of felony and pardoned before the passage of the enrollment act.
Opinion. - A person convicted of felony and pardoned before the passage of the enrollment act is exempt from the draft. The language of the act is without qualification, and declared that "no person who was been convicted of any felony shall be enrolled, or permitted to serve in said forces."
In the case of persons drafted into the military service who are now in service on board Government light-vessel.
Opinion. - The persons mentioned cannot be regarded as in the military service of the United States.
JAMES B. FRY,
Washington City, August 22, 1863.
His Excellency RICHARD YATES,
Governor of Illinois, Springfield:
SIR: Your letters of the 5th and 17th of August have remained unanswered until it should be determined, by the course of events, whether troops should be sent from the field into your States. Although the success of our arms has been brilliant beyond example, and much has been accomplished toward the suppression of the rebellion, the condition of military operations still remains such that it is deemed inexpedient at present to remove troops from the field for duty where their services may not be absolutely required. The Department has not been insensible to the demonstrations made by the enemies of the Government in your State, but has relied upon the result of military operations elsewhere to render them harmless; if however, it should become necessary, in order to preserve peace and maintain the authority of the Government in Illinois, to arm your militia, the Department will, upon your requisition, furnish arms and ammunition for that purpose to the extent that may be within the power of the Government.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.