Fourth, and finally. Because the record shows that every dollar of the $12,000,000 received for commutation has been exhausted, thus showing further that the Government has received a man for every $300 paid in, which is conclusive proof that the clause was wisely inserted, and has contributed measurably to the efficiency of the law.
The abolition of classes.-The object of classification of liable was twofold: First, it looked to the interest of the country in favoring men who have families to rear and provide for; and second, it took into consideration the fact made evident by research that the age of military endurance and efficiency lies between twenty and thirty-five years.
A FRIEND TO THE GOVERNMENT.
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The communication in another column, on "The conscription bill," is from the pen of a practical and a patriotic thinker. General Wilson, of the Senate, has his own doubts as to the propriety of annulling the $300 exemption clause in that law, and at the request of our able correspondent we direct General Wilson's attention, as well as the attention of others, to the arguments in the communication referred to.
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First. It is not the fact that the $300 has inured to the benefit of the poorer classes; on the contrary, none but the poor have gone into service under the draft. The $300 clause has relieved the rich entirely from the burden of the draft and has made it bear lightly upon the middle class. The poor alone have not been relieved. The poor have already contributed much, and the rich and the middle class but little in personal service to the war.
Second. It is not the fact that this clause has accomplished the procuration of men in a "double," or even a single, or any other sense. It is not the fact that "many men physically disabled" waived examination and paid money, or procured substitutes. On the contrary, no privilege was more urgently and uncompromisingly claimed than that of being first examined and held to service before furnishing a substitute, or paying money, and the clamor on this point was so great that the law was construed to afford a privilege which it did not provide. The act said that "on or before the day fixed for his examination a drafted man might pay," &c., clearly meaning that after that day he could not pay or furnish a substitute. On this point the clamor was so great that the law was made to mean what it did not say or intend, viz, that a man might furnish a substitute or pay after the day fixed, &c.
Third. The abrogation of the $300 clause would not defeat substitution before draft.
Fourth. Iows that every dollar of the $12,000,000 received from the draft has been exhausted, thus showing that the Government has received a man for every $300. On the contrary, more than two-thirds of the twelve millions still remains in my hands.
"The abolition of classes." The age of military endurance and efficiency in this country does not necessarily lie between the ages of twenty and thirty-five; there is quite as much, if not more, hardship in taking a married man under thirty-five from his family than there is in taking one over thirty-five.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, December 21, 1863.
In order to secure to each State and district its just credit for colored troops furnished, and to secure compensation to the owners of enlisted slaves, it is ordered:
First. That officers engaged in recruiting colored troops in any State, upon any colored recruit being brought by his owner, shall, upon such recruit being accepted, give to such owner a certificate of the fact, together with a descriptive list of the recruit so received, in order that the owner may receive a compensation as hereafter provided.
Second. That recruiting officers be required to give to every person claiming a colored recruit as his or her slave, that has offered himself