War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0113 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

basis, and the Commission demonstrates this point by illustrations and examples. I have never known any intelligent person to entertain a doubt as to the fact thus elucidated by the Commission. Having established this point, the Commission, without giving the reasoning in full, announces its conclusions. I state and remark upon them seriatim.

The Commission determines:

First. As stated above, that an erroneous enrollment used as a basis for assigning quotas "may operate to the prejudice of the State."

Second. That imperfections and errors "in an enrollment will necessarily occur to a greater extent in a large city than in a rural district, and the more transient and floating the population in a given district the greater the liability to an erroneous and excessive enrollment."

Third. That in the "city of New York several causes operated, and necessarily, to produce an erroneous and excessive enrollment." Three of these causes are named: First, floating population; second, presence of alien immigrants; third, the presence in the city of large manufacturing establishments whose employes do not or may not reside at their place of labor. A manifest error of judgment, not previously known to this office, on the part of one of the provost-marshals in having transferred names from the election poll lists to his enrollment lists, which actio was entirely exceptional, is also set forty by the Commission as a further proof of erroneous enrollment. In this connection the Commission says:

The law itself, as well as the order issued by the War Department for its execution, and of which no complaint is made, as they were evidently proper in the emergency, necessarily compelled an excessive enrollment-that is, the enrollment of aliens, the physically incompetent, and other exempts-and did not and could not effectually guard against the enrollment of non-residents and those not within the proper ages, or other errors and imperfections, and the consequences of these defects in the system-if defects they are-are of course more serious and apparent in cities than in the country.

Fourth. That "the enrollment in the State of New York is imperfect and erroneous, excessive in some districts and possibly to small in others, and certainly excessive in the cities of New York and Brooklyn, and cannot be relied upon as a just and equitable basis for the assignment of quota of the State of New York or the districts thereof." That the "inaccuracies were the necessary results of the execution of the law under the circumstances, and it is not perceived how they could be avoided."

Fifth. The Commission were unable too devise any process or means to "correct the enrollment and make it what it should be as a reliable and satisfactory basis for the adjustment of the quota." The Commission did not perceive how the difficulties before encountered could have been overcome or the mistakes and errors of the first enrollment amended. "The same causes of error and imperfection still exist and are at work and would undoubtedly produce the same results."

Sixth. The quota assigned to the city and State of New York under the call of October 17, 1863, being excessive, the way in which "the error could be corrected and the quota made right" is to assign the quotas upon the basis and in proportion to the entire population.

To the conclusion of the Commission as enumerated I reply as follows:

To the first: It cannot be denied that with an imperfect basis,