War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0600 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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[AUGUST 9, 1864.-For Governor Curtin's message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in regard to measures for the armed protection of the State, and other matters of "vital public importance," see Series I, Vol. XLIII, Part I, p. 751.]

WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., August 10, 1864.


Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a letter to you from His Excellency Horatio Seymour, Governor of New York, dated August 3, 1864, and by you referred to me. It is represented in this communication that an excessive enrollment has recently been made in New York, and that State, in consequence, called upon for an unduly large proportion of troops. The letter does not differ essentially from one on the same subject addressed in August last by Governor Seymour to His Excellency the President, which was answered by one on the 10th of August, 1864 [1863]. Statements and arguments then presented are now renewed, as if they had not heretofore been fully explained and refuted. For a proper understanding of the general subject I refer to these communications. In my letter I showed that competent and honest officers had faithfully performed their duties under the law in making the enrollment. Since that time everything practicable on the part of the U. S. authorities has been done in New York, as well as elsewhere, to revise and perfect the enrollment lists. (See orders on the subject appended and marked A, B, and C.*)

Speaking of the enrollments, Governor Seymour says:

In some of the Congressional districts they are especially excessive and injurious. The most oppressive enrollments appear in the Congressional districts of New York and Brooklyn.

It is true that the enrollment (and consequently the quota) is larger in these than in many other districts, but the population of these districts is more dense, and there are actually more men liable to enrollment in them than in others. This is a matter of fact carefully ascertained, and it seems to me it would be "oppressive and injurious" to other districts to reduce the quotas in New York because they are larger there than in others where there are not so many men liable to duty. In fact, such a course involves the abandonment of justice of quotas. But even if the enrollment and quotas in New York and Brooklyn are unduly large, oppressive and injurious burdens, and their families broken up and ruined," is not a good one, for it is a fact that the bulk of foregoing emigrants to the United States arrive in New York, and they are actually used by New York and Brooklyn to fill a large proportion of the quotas assigned to those cities.

The State of New York forbids all other States form having access to these recruits. No other State has this source of supply to such an extent, and many are entirely without it.


*Not found with this paper and not otherwise identified.