War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0550 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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On the 22nd the Governor addresed to Major-General Sandford a letter (copy herewith) announcing and commenting on the decision, and on the 22nd of July made an order (copy herewith) forbidding his troops to come to Washington under the President's call and suspending their further muster into U. S. service. Such is the history of the case. It is due to the Department that I should invite your attention to some points in it. The act approved February 24, 1864, exempts from enrollment and draft "all persons actually in the military or naval service of the United States at the time of the draft, and all persons who have served in the military or naval service two years during the present war," &c. If the intention of this act, with regard to exemptions and the circumstances under which it was passed, are fairly considered it will be found questionable whether emergency men, who happen to be in service on the day the draft is made, are legally entitled to exemption. At the time this act was passed men were drafted only for three years, and it was the intention of Congress to reduce the number of exemptions from that established unit of service to the smallest possible limit. By the language of the law quoted above it will be seen that two years of service during this war is required as necessary to secure exemption from the draft for three years" service, and the persons "actually in the service" who are thereby entitled to exemption were those who were in for the period of service contemplated by the act. By a subsequent act the term of service under the draft was reduced to one year, but whether entitled to exemption or not, the right to demand it was legally waived by the accepted conditions heretofore referred to.

Your call on the Governor of New York was made July 5. His order forbidding troops to obey it on account of the conditions imposed bears date July 22. During the interval between these troops were most needed, the Governor sent forward but one regiment and it did not reach Washington until the 15th of July, one other regiment itwo in all. This would indicate that the conditions which resulted in stopping the troops from coming were used only as a pretext to carry out a preconceived intention. The Governor of Ohio in twenty days, when there was no pressing emergency, put in service forty-two regiments of 100- days" men with the conditions to which the Governor of New York objects. The militia organization is perhaps no better and the patriotism and willingness of the people no greater in the one State than the other.

The letter of the Governor of New York to Major-General Sandford (appended) conveys the idea that such men in 100-days" service as might be drafted would, in violation of law and personal rights, be thrust forcibly from the 100-days" service into the service for which they were drafted, and that this violence would be effected on account of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the prevalence of martial law. The fact is that the orders of the Department (and the practice has always been in accordance with them) require that when a man in the temporary service is drafted he shall, at the expiation of his temporary service, appear in person before the Board of Enrollment in his district, be examined, and present his claims to exemption the same as any other drafted man, and if held to service he has the same time and opportunity to secure a substitute or prepare to serve in person as he would have had if he had not been in service when drawn.