War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0805 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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But as in every large community there always exist different sentiments and opinions, excited and controlled by various and opposing influences, so here, the people inhabiting all parts of the State have not been equally and in the same degree enthusiastic and ardent in their support of the war; but while from many towns a much larger number than the required proportion have, upon the call of the President, volunteered for the service of the country, the convictions of duty which excited their patriotic devotion and sacrifices failed to produce the same results upon their minds of the people in other sectionarful exigencies of public affairs called for the harsh administration of the conscription act, it was manifestly right and proper, it was simple and exact justice, neither more nor less, that the principle of the draft should, if possible be so established that the burden thereof should be imposed with an eyed hand, in order that it might be felt and sustained by all alike, and not by some communities slightly and by others very severely. Nor does it seem to have been impossible, nor yet difficult, to have so equalized the draft here, whatever obstacles may have existed to such practical results in some other States. A comparison of the returns made by the several towns with the muster-rolls on file at the State House would readily verify or contradict the claims of the respective towns, and it could easily and without inconvenient delay be ascertained precisely how many men each town had already furnished.

It would seem to be practicable so to appropriation the whole required quota of the State among these towns as to make the number furnished and to be furnished exactly equal in proportion to the whole number required. or if the draft might not be at all delayed for this purpose, what could be easier than to reach the same practical result, by striking off the excess from the drafted list wherever justice required it to be done or to grant a furlough for the period covered by the draft to as many men as constitute the excess from the several towns?

The evident requirements of equity in this matter, the facility of the practical accomplishment of the right, and the gross inequality and justice of any different plan of operations were so apparent as to call for an expression from the Legislature, which, regarded believed would secure the accomplishment of the desired result.

The act of the Legislature was as follows:


In the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty- three:

Whereas, many of the towns, and cities in this State during the present war have furnished more than their full quota of men already called into the service of the United States, while others have furnished less; and whereas, it is understood that the General Government is about ordering a draft from the enrolled militia in the State without regard to the numbers already furnished by the towns and cities: Therefore.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representation in General Court convened. That such a draft would be unjust to such towns and citizens as have already furnished their full quota of men, and that Him Excellency the Governor be requested to bring the matter to the attention of the War Department forthwith, and make such arrangements, if possible, as will secure an apportionment