Even after these additional credits were secured there was a large difference between the State and War Department as to the number of volunteers furnished prior to October, and until that difference was adjusted I could not make up accurate accounts with counties. These accounts they insisted upon, and to those counties who were behind I gave them the figures as near as I could, and by dispatches and in every way I could I sought to at the same time not to discourage them by an array of figures so large that they could not overcome them.
Some time prior to December 22, at which time I addressed their people, I had been urged to go to Chicago and help them, but declined. On the 22nd I went there, and there unexpectedly met Governor Yates on his way home. After informing him of the situation and the course I had pursued during his absence he fully approved my course, and it was not until after full consultation with him and leading loyal citizens of Chicago as to the points to be made at the meeting that I made by speech and explained the situation as far as was thought advisable.
It was under these circumstances that I stated that while the balance against Cook County was probably at least 3,000 yet as I believed from information from different parts of the State that they (the counties) would by continued industry succeed in raising their quotas if Cook County would by the 5th of January raise 2,000 they would probably escape a draft. This is the sum and substance of my speech. Our friends immediately went to work with a will. The Tribune spoke and the people followed. Prior to that time there had not been enlisted in that county 300 men. All the rolls are not yet received, but enough is known to satisfy me that had it not been for the terrible storm which swept over the State on the last of December that they would have succeeded in filling that number. In fact the five first days of this month have been completely lost to us all over the State on account of the storm.
I will not weary you with details, but I do not hesitate to affirm that the policy perused has been sound, and that for every recruit lost by too much encouragement I can show ten secured by the course pursued.
Our situation when the last call was made was briefly as follows: Several counties were so largely behind that they could not fill their quotas. Several counties had filled theirs and did not know it. The balance could fill theirs b.
The first were encouraged that by raising a part of their quotas they would save themselves from draft.
The second were nd of their situation, and put off with the answer (true in fact) that until the differences between the State and General Government were adjusted their accounts could not be made up.
The third were assured that by vigorous efforts they could fill their quotas, and an estimate given them of what they must do.
A semi-official dispatch from Washington on the 22nd of December last announcing that the draft would be postponed until the 1st of February had a bad effect upon recruiting for a few days. This was finally partially overcome by an assurance that the State authorities would not ask for a postponement.
The situation now, I think, is about this:
Recruiting has stopped for the want of bounties, and everybody