Measures intended to remedy such defects in the law as experience has developed are in process of preparation and will be submitted when required.
I recommend that the $300 clause, as it is known, be abolished or limited to the cases of those whose religious creed, like that of Quakers, will not permit them to bear arms, but who certainly cannot be conscientiously opposed to contributing in this mode to the support of the Government which protects thay be driven to take up arms in doing so.
Collectors of internal revenue were appointed in the different districts to receive communication money.
Ten million five hundred and eighteen thousand dollars had from 35,060 drafted men exempted by paying $300 each. The reports of the boards of enrollment, who have no control over the money, show the number of drafted men who, up to November 1, had presented receipts from collectors of internal for $300 each, and to whom, upon this evidence, they had granted revenue responsible for the amounts paid in--have been forwarded to this Bureau by the boards of enrollment, and certificates of deposit procured by the collectors from the U. S. depositaries with whom they have deposited the funds weekly (which certificates of deposit have been deposited the funds received.
The commutation money from the draft constitutes a substitute fund, and is now being used to procure recruits for old organizations and as bounties to promote the re-enlistment of veteran volunteers still in service. Weekly returns of this fund are made to the Treasury Department, showing the collectors through whom it is received, the U. S. depositories in which it is placed, and the amounts disbursed and remaining on hand.
VOLUNTEER RECRUITING SERVICE.
The results of the volunteer recruiting service between January 1 and November 1, 1863, are shown by a tabular statement herewith.
It is probable that large re-enforcements will be obtained under the President's call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers. If Congress should at an early day amend the enrollment act as proposed, the prospect of getting volunteers will be greatly improved, and the certainty of getting men by draft, if volunteering should fail, will be established.
It is recommended that $300 bounty be paid to raw recruits for old organizations and $400 to veterans. The present pay and bounty of the soldier do not compete with the wages paid throughout the country. Procuring volunteers will be better effected by increasing the bounty than by increasing the pay.
Eighty-three thousand two hundred and forty-two volunteers were received into the U. S. service between January 1 and November 1, 1863; 68,243 of these being enlisted for three years or the war.