The Commission again convened in the city of New York on said 5th day of January, 1864, and have continued in session from day to day until the present time, making such progress in the work assigned them as they could with the means and information at hand or within their reach.
There has been some delay in the investigation and examination for the want of information and documents from the War Department, which could not at once be furnished, and some of which had to be obtained by the Department from different branches of the same or from other sources.
This explanation is made not for the information of the War Department, but for the benefit of others interested in the action of the Commission, and who may not be familiar with all the facts.
The Commission take pleasure in acknowledging the readiness and promptness with which Colonel Fry, the Provost-Marshal-General of the United States, had furnished them with the documents and information asked, and facilitated, so far as he could, all their labors. They have also received valuable aid in the form of statistics, tables, and estimates of the different classes of population in the several States from Honorable Mr. Kennedy, of the Census Bureau, at Washington. They have also been attended from time to time by Colonel Nugent, and have called before them and examined the provost-marshals of the several districts in the cities of New York and Brooklyn who were in service and took part in the enrollment of 1863. They were also assisted for a time in their labors by Captain Turner, of the volunteer service, who was detailed by General Hays for that purpose; and they would state generally that every desired aid and facility has been furnished by General Hays and all under his command, or in any way connected with the military service.
General J. B. Stonehouse, assistant adjutant-general of the State of New York, has attended the Commission upon several occasions, and made valuable suggestions, and placed at the disposal of the Commission such records and documents as were in the State offices. The object of the Commission was, first, to ascertain whether the enrollment of the city and State of New York was perfect and accurate, or so nearly so as to constitute a just and equitable basis for the assignment of quotas and the apportionment f men to be furnished for the military service of the United States; and secondly in case the enrollment should appear to be so materially and substantially imperfect or erroneous as not to form a proper basis for the purpose named, to determine whether it could be corrected and made perfect and complete, or reasonably so; that is, so corrected was to show with reasonable accuracy the actual number of men in the State and the several districts thereof liable to be enrolled and to military service under the act of Congress of March 3, 1863.
An excessive enrollment in any State will not work an injustice as a basis for a draft, provided men are called into service only by drawing a given number or proportion of those enrolled, and only such are taken as are obtained and held to service upon such draft. The enrollment of exempts, or the swelling of the lists by fictitious names or the names of non-residents, increases the number to be drawn from, and, of course, the number of names to be drawn; but the names improperly enrolled represent a like number to be drawn from, and, of course, the number of names to be drawn; but the names improperly enrolled represent a like number in the draft and the names actually drawn, and thus balance the account.
But if the number which the proportion called for would give is required to be furnished, either by repeating the draft until it is obtained or by volunteers to be furnished by the State, it is obvious