to New York. It then gives as a reason for resorting to another method of assignment that that method will be less favorable to New York than certain other methods. Another reason than given for its plain is that by it "the burthen will be placed where it can be best borne." I have no desire to see an undue burthen placed upon any locality, but if there is a place that could on account of wealth, men, and commercial interests bear a heavy burthen it would be New York, and an excess there would be placing it where it "can best be borne."
The Commission finally reports as follows, viz: That they "are unanimously of the opinion that population constitutes the only safe and proper basis for the assignment of quotas and the apportionment of men to be furnished by New York upon a call for volunteers. But while no other basis than the enrollment is recommended for any draft that may be ordered, the Commission are unanimously of the opinion and recommend that in any case if a State or district will and do furnish its just share and proportion of men required under any call or order for draft, in proportion to population, such State or district should be held to have fully complied with the call and be relieved from the draft."
I disagree with the Commission in this opinion and recommendation. The Commission has evidently been absorbed by the conviction that the raising of men is, and will necessarily continue to be, equivalent to levying special taxes and raising money, and they would therefore require the same proceeds under the enrollment act from a districthich they would from a district with the same number of men of equal means. I assume that we are looking for personal military service from those able to perform it; that we make no calls for volunteers in the sense in which the Commission understands it, but that we assign to the districts under the enrollment act for personal military service from those able to perform it; that we make no calls for volunteers in the sense in which the Commission understands it, but that we assign to the districts under the enrollment act fair quotas of the men we have found them to contain; that to defer personal service for the time the people of certain States and localities now raise money-bounties-of their own accord, and not through the laws or order of the General Government, and purchase substitutes; that this practice will naturally prevail while men and money are plenty, but that it may cease at any time, and is not a sufficient cause for the Government to depart from the sound principles of the law by which it can require and secure the services of its forces; and that, if politic, it would be a departure from the law to do so.
The Commission has assured the Government that "upon the basis suggested," "every call for men will everywhere be responded to cheerfully and heartily, and neither men nor money for the suppression of the rebellion and restoration of the Union in its integrity be withheld or given grudgingly or stintedly." My experience and observation in this Bureau justify me in asserting that the generosity and patriotism of the good people of the United States and of the State of New York will not in raising troops be dependent upon the adoption of "the basis suggested" by the Commission, nor upon the decision of any other question that has arisen in connection with this subject.
There is no practical point to be considered in connection with the assignment of quotas under the call of October 17, as the President's order of February 1 for a draft on March 10 for 500,000 men includes the 300,000 announced on October 17, as the quota for draft on 5th of January. The order of February 1 and the quotas assigned are wholly under the enrollment act.