The chief of these laws is to bring able-bodied men into the military service, and to distribute, as equally as practicable, the burden of supplying them.
In order to equalize the quotas the territory from which troops are to be drawn is required by law to be divided into districts, &c., and each district is to supply its due proportion of men. But as some districts send more and others less than their respective share of troops, and send some soldiers for a longer and others for a shorter term of service, the law requires the President to equalize the quotas of the respective districts by taking into consideration the number of men and the terms of their service in each district.
If the number of men were taken into consideration without regard to the time of their service, it is clear that the grossest inequality would exist in the respective contributions of different districts to the aggregate military service of the country.
If District A furnished 1,000 men for one year, it contributes only one-third as much to the military service as District B, which furnished 1,000 men for three years, although for the first year the contributions of A and B are, in mere point of numbers, equal. But during the second and third years of the three-years" term, District B [A] is contributing nothing, and to equalize these districts B [A] must raise 1,000 men for the second year, and 1,000 men for the third year of that term.
Hence the rule of equalization requires that the number of men furnished from each district should be multiplies by the number of years of each man's service. The product gives the amount of years service actually rendered; and it is this product found for each ward, district, &c., which is to form the basis of comparison for equalizing the service required from all the districts respectively.
Such is the requirement of the statute and it embodies practical good sense and even-handed justice.
To apply these principles to the present state of facts, and to the draft to be made on the 5th of September next:
The amount of service rendered by each "district," &c., has been already ascertained by multiplying the number of men by the periods of their respective service, thus settling the old account of such district up to this date in accordance with the principles above stated.
A new call is now made for 500,000 men. This number will be distributed among the "districts", &c., as required by law, in strict proportion to the number of military forces enrolled therein. That distribution having been made, each district will be charged in account with its quota in the first instance.
But in some districts troops have already been furnished in excess of all former quotas. Each district must have its separate account made up, either by crediting the excess or by charging the deficit of years, divided by three (assuming, as the unit of all former quotas, one man rendering three years's service). In other words, in settling and equalizing the old accounts of the different districts, their respective number of years service will be divided by three, and the quotient will give the number of men furnished heretofore by each district, every person being thus reckoned as one three-years" man, and the excess of men over former calls will be deducted from, or the deficiency in former calls will be added to, and constitute part of the respective quotas now to be obtained. All persons volunteering previously to the draft will in like manner be credited.
The call is for one, two, or three years" volunteers; the draft will according to law, be for one year only.