He, after thinking a little, replied that he could scarcely see how it could be made more fair than it was. We then stated that his friends ought to admit its accuracy, and if he could find no means to make the enir how could he expect the Government to obtain the admission of the lower class of society, who, for the most part, are unlearned and violent, that the draft, as a result of the enrollment, was or could be correct.
The plan His Excellency suggested was, that copies of the old enrollment be printed and circulated throughout the district for the people to correct, he alleging that the interest of each would be greatly benefited by this; that persons would see that many were down who should [not] be, and others placed on who had been left off. This, however, we stated, would be attended with no good results, for men living years in the city did not know their neighbors or who lived with them; and His Excellency afterward remarked that this might answer in the country, but he questioned its expediency in a crowded thoroughfare; still, he gave no opinion one way or the other. I asked if he meant to take the present enrollment as correct and the one to be used, subject to be corrected, as information of those who had seen the copies in print suggested, to which he seemed to assent.
The conversation, occupying more than three hours, was in substance what I have written, yet, long as it was, little was said to justify the belief that discrepancies in the enrollment were the cause of his dissatisfaction, but much that captiousness was the secret of his opposition to the law.
I made a memorandum of the conversation as soon as I arrived home, that in case any question arose as to what transpired, then a memorandum of the conversation might prove beneficial.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, February 5, 1864.
Colonel J. B. FRY,
Your dispatch received. We can raise the thirty companies, we think in thirty days. Do you design them for new regiments, or to fill up veteran regiments? We prefer the latter. We have gone to work.
Governor of Ohio.
WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., February 5, 1864.
The intention was to form the companies into new regiments; but if you have old regiments now requiring new companies to complete them, enough of the new companies to be raised may be assigned for that purpose; but it would not be well at this time to commence consolidation in order to create vacancies in old regiments.
JAMES B. FRY,