War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0081 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

number liable to military duty, while in those districts which gave a Union majority he claimed it was equally fraudulent in not giving all who were thus liable, or the fraud of excess in city and deficiency in country districts; this he thought quite natural. Thus, while he attributed intentional fraud on the part of the Federal Government one moment, the next found him asserting that it arose from the nature of things; that while in a crowdedall required consummate skill, yet there was a constant disposition to duplicate names, which could not well be avoided. In the country, he alleged, that, living many miles from each other, persons were not known, and the enrollment sheets being concealed from the public gaze, there was a constant fault in not placing all on. Thus alternating between the charge of fraud by the General Government and excusing in next breath those alleged frauds as errors which could not be avoided, he blew now hot, now cold. The enrollment per se, he urged, was excessive - first, as compared with the census. But, I asked, Why measure the accuracy of the enrollment by the census any more than the accuracy of the census by the enrollment? He replied that the general increase of population afforded some criterion; the census of 1860 compared with that of 1850, and so back, established the accuracy of that, but there had been but one enrollment. But, I urged, the census of 1860 was not supposed to be correct so much because of its being a regular increase on that of 1850, but because the people were counted by canvassers and found to be a certain number, which was the same rule which governed the enrollment, while there had been a State enrollment the previous year which agreed with this. But, I urged, if the census is correct, yet the enrollment might also be, the seeming disparity in numbers being no error in either, for the census included all, while the enrollment only a particular class, and hence one is no criterion for the other.

He then urged that on its face the city enrollment bore marks of excess, since the fact was notorious that many were enrolled twice and even thrice, and also because many were afterward found incompetent by reason of alienage or physical disability or non- residence; to which it was answered that no duplicates existed, because weeks had been spent and no expense spared before the draft in correcting this very charge, so that now a personal examination would prove the fact that there was an absence of duplicates; the sheets were open to his inspection, and had been, if he had desired so to do. To his second objection it was stated that a perfect enrollment would be an anomaly in the history of the world, if not an impossibility, since claims for exemption, very properly under the law, were to be heard after draft by the Board - not before enrollment by the enrolling officer; that it was true many were borne upon the sheets who afterward were exempted; whereupon he stated that this made the discrepancy all the more glaring, since they were on the enrollment sheets, swelling the number on which the quota was apportioned. In answer to this we stated that though this might be true, yet it showed no discrepancy, for, if a fault, it was a general one of all the district enrollments, and swelling each a little made it disproportionate to none. Still he urged it was a fault, while he admitted the impossibility of making an enrollment perfectly correct; but we replied that Circular Numbers --, in which the department ordered that the place of persons so drawn, exempt by reason of alienage, & c., should not be filled from the 50 per cent. additional, makes it as fair as possible to all.