state of affairs; on the contrary, in a measure of this kind, it strikes me that the object should be to create a system by which the General Government can surely and practically and promptly create and recruit an army either for the campaign of 1864 or 1874.
We have gradually and very naturally, run into the evil system of large bounties, &c. I think the sooner we can extricate ourselves from it the better. It is absurd to try to comey for his services, and it is equally absurd to try to establish or approach an equality between the compensation of the officer and the private.
The bounties, as now provided by the War Department, were a necessary part of the draft law, which required the money raised to be used to procure substitutes, which amounts to nothing more or less than offering a bounty to recruits. I think it was a proper and necessary step of the War Department to carry out the law and meet the present emergency, which is to supply the place of the men whose terms expire next spring and summer by getting new recruits for those regiments and secure the re-enlistment of the men now in them. As soon as this emergency shall have been met I think the large bounties should cease. My views as to the act which should now be passed appear in a project herewith, marked "An act to provide for recruiting the national armies." From the little I have gleaned from the proceedings of Congress thus far, I think the members generally do not appreciate the extent of the machinery required and the time and labor necessary to draft men into service. It is important that this should be considered; see, for example, the labors expected of a single surgeon in each Congressional district. The fact is that I never could have got along at all without employing others, and this I have done.
Excuse the length of this communication and the haste in which it has been prepared. Your letter inviting this only reached my desk this morning.
Very truly, yours,
JAS. B. FRY.
P. S.-I give below a letter from this morning's Chronicle, with editorial notice, and as it is calculated to be mischievous I will notice it to you:
THE CONSCRIPTION LAW.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRONICLE:
SIR: The proposed amendments to the "conscription law," so called, do not to very many loyal men seem as a whole calculated to give greater force and efficiency to that law. I trust you will grant me sufficient space in your widely circulated journal in which to present, what seem to many, serious objections to some of the proposed amendments.
The abrogation of the $300 commutation clause.-First. Because this clause was intended to and did inure to the benefit of the poorer classes.
Second. Because it operated to accomplish the object of the law- the procuration of men, in a double sense; that is to say, many men physically disabled from personal service, finding this cheap and easy way to aid to Government, waived examination and produced either an accepted substitute or the money before the boards. Many more would do likewise should the clause be retained.
Third. Its abrogation would defeat the object of one excellent amendment proposed-that by which any person enrolled may before the draft takes place present an acceptable substitute and receive credit therefor. This amendment would procure many men, and I think obviate the necessity for a draft in future, provided the present commutation clause could be retained.