Your Excellency permit a proceeding that involves such serious issues to be placed in the secret and unrestrained power of officers who may be actuated by partisan purposes, if not by personal hatreds, especially considering that these officers are already under suspicion of wrong by reason of the inequalities of their enrollment?
Again, Your Excellency, while reducing the quotas to be drawn in several of the Congressional districts, has intimated that you would cause a new enrollment and a further draft to be made in those districts. Surely no man should be a second time subjected to such danger, unless the circumstances of the first draft are fully known and its fairness placed beyond doubt. The citizens of New York and Brooklyn may well protest with earnestness against the repeated exercise of power over them in a manner so secret and arbitrary, which is elsewhere exercised only once. Nor could His Excellency the Governor be justly asked to designate persons to supervise a second enrollment, if thereby his fellow-citizens were to be again subjected to the danger of having their names drawn from boozes which partisan officers have the power to pack.
Asking Your excellency to ascribe any undue plainness or earnestness of language to an anxious desire that a law severe in its provisions may be administered so as to cause the least possible dissatisfaction,
I remain, very respectfully, your fellow-citizen,
NELSON J. WATERBURY.
ACTG. ASST. PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE, WESTERN DIVISION, STATE OF NEW YORK,
Elmira, August 24, 1863.
Colonel JAMES B. FRY,
COLONEL: I am in receipt of yours of the 22nd, marked "confidential," in regard to the draft at Syracuse. This is the state of the case: On the 22nd of July I was at Syracuse and had an interview with the provost-marshal, the mayor of the city, the sheriff of the county, the provost-marshal, the mayor of the city, the sheriff of the county, and a committee of the citizens, in which all the arrangements were made for commencing the draft on Wednesday following. I was to furnish a number of guns - I think 250 or 300. I was to telegraph about the guns when I received them, using the word "blanks" instead of "guns." When I reached home I was in doubt as to the number of guns I was to send.
On the 27th I telegraphed the provost-marshal as follows: "Have just received "blanks;" are you ready for them? How many shall I send?" To this I received no answer. On the 29th I was at Lockport when I received a telegram to meet the Governor in Albany, and I left in the evening, telegraphing to Provost- Marshal Wood to telegraph me at Albany the next day when he would begin the draft; was all day in Albany, but received no dispatch. Captain Wood tells me since that he wrote to me at my hotel. I would not be likely to have received the letter, as I staid but one day. On arriving home on the 31st of July, finding nothing from Captain Wood, I telegraphed him as follows:
As soon as you can get ready you must commence the draft in your district. If you need arms, telegraph me and they shall be forwarded.
I heard nothing from Captain Wood in reply to this.