STATE OF OHIO, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Columbus, January [July] 14, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington City, D. C.:
SIR: I telegraphed you to-day that an account had been furnished us of credits by General Fry up to May 30, showing this State to be in excess of all calls over 10,000 men. This does not include about 1,500 veterans yet to be credited, about 1,200 men in the naval service, nor the men raised by the draft now progressing in the State, which will amount to some 2,000, making our excess over calls some 15,000 men. The third section of the draft is now going on to supply the places of men heretofore drafted, who have not responded or left the State after notice.
This feature of the draft has created great excitement and dissatisfaction in the State, and in view of our large excess I yesterday requested Colonel Potter to suspend further operations under this branch of the draft until communication could be had with the Department, which he consented to do. If there is no mistake in the computation, this whole draft has been irregular; but waiving that for the present (and I have not permitted any publication of the facts), it seems to me that further progress under the draft, and upon the most disturbing feature of it, may properly be suspended. I hope you will concur with me in this view of the case.
This excess of quota brings out another important feature. It appears that instead of a deficit we were actually 10,000 in excess at the time the National Guard was placed in the field. While we waive credit for them on any calls, it is proper to present the fact that in this draft, made to cover a deficit that did not exist, a large number of these men have been drafted and are liable, on their return from present service, to be called upon the respond to this draft. Under the circumstances, should this be so? I think not. It may be trouble-some, perhaps, to disturb this draft, but is it not proper and practicable to specially order that, in consideration of the promptitude of these men in responding to the call upon them and the valuable service they have rendered, those of them who have been drafted shall be relieved from responding thereto? This would be a great relief to the men at a most opportune period, and would be hailed with gratification by the great body of their friends throughout the State. The effect in every way would be good, both as to raising more men and in its political influence, especially if taken by the men as a recognition of meritorious services.
I earnestly urge this matter upon your careful attention. If our quota had not been full I would not have claimed it, but under the state of facts now presented I respectfully urge it as a measure alike of justice and policy.
I inclose you copy of the account current furnished by General Fry.