HEADQUARTERS RECRUITING SERVICE SECOND CORPS,
New York, February 11, 1864.
Colonel JAMES B. FRY,
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following considerations to you in favor of postponing the draft, say until April 10, and extending the time for the payment of bounties until April 1.
The great object, as I understand it, is to bring into service before the spring campaign the greatest possible number of effective men. I submit that if volunteering closes by March 10, or the Government ceases to encourage it by paying bounties after March 1, the machinery of the draft will produce but few men in time for the next campaign, and we shall lose a large number of the men that would be secured by voluntary enlistment during the period in which the draft is being put in operation. If it were generally understood that the people would have until April 1 to fill their quotas, and that the draft would be then enforced, say April 10, it is my opinion that the Government would get more men and in less time than by any other plan.
When the draft is put in operation many localities and many persons will pay the commutation. This will delay our getting the men. If the same money is used in March, we will have many troops by April 1 which we would not have by the draft.
The localities will generally pay local bounties. If Government bounties are added we will get men certainly.
The draft might be deferred in all localities where it is believed the people are making exertions to fill their quotas and be executed where they are not.
I make these suggestions merely to call the subject to your attention and to give you my opinion, as I feel interested in getting men promptly.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WINFIELD S. HANCOCK,
Major-General of Volunteers.
WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., February 11, 1864.
I am making up the quotas, and will give you that of Illinois as soon as practicable. Whatever the quota of the State may be upon present calls, another call may be made at any moment. I therefore suggest that volunteering be continued with all the spirit possible while the large Government bounties are authorized. Illinois will need any surplus she may thus acquire. The enrollment of the first and second classes is taken as a basis in making up the quotas.
JAMES B. FRY,
INDIANAPOLIS, February 11, 1864.
Colonel J. B. FRY,
As the bounties will cease on the 1st day of March, I ask that the superintendent of volunteer recruiting be authorized to place all