From this table it will be seen that the quota under the late call is less than that of last year.
It is true the quotas of last year, after having been assigned on the basis of enrollment, in New York as in other States, were arbitrarily reduced upon the report of the Commission; but that fact cannot properly be used as a reason for a similar reduction this year. Since that reduction was made a law has been passed (February 24, 1864) which absolutely requires that the quotas shall be based on the enrollment, and the enrollment has been revised and corrected. Hence, even if it was legal and proper to reduce the quotas last year, it is not so this.
The enrollment is the legal (see opinion of Solicitor War Department herewith*) as well as the best basis for the assignment of quotas. To abandon it, or suspend the assignment of quotas and raising of troops on account of its alleged imperfections, would be no more justifiable than it would to suspend the political rights based upon the census tables in the States or districts, or to forego the collection of internal revenue on account of assumed imperfections and inequalities in the assessment rolls.
In making the assignment of quotas I see no reason why the law should not be applied to New York as well as to the States; nor, if the law would permit it, do I see any sufficient reason for an arbitrary reduction of the quotas in New York or elsewhere, either through the instrumentality of a commission or otherwise.
The facts presented in this letter cover the points in the letter to me, dated August 2, 1864, from Orison Blunt, chairman of New York County bounty committee, and will serve as an answer to that communication.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES B. FRY,
WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
August 10, 1864.
Mr. HENRY DU PONT,
SIR: You are hereby authorized to recruit a company of volunteer infantry for the term of one, two, or three years" service, as the men may elect, under the following conditions:
First. The officers will be commissioned, and musters must conform to the existing regulations of the War Department. These will be fully made known by Major Judd, chief mustering officer, Wilmington, Del.
Third. The troops will be equipped, clothed, and armed by the United States.
Fourth. No bounties will be allowed the men recruited under this authorization.
Fifth. So soon as mustered in the service and the fact reported to the War Department the company will be assigned to duty by the War Department for service in guarding Du Pont's Powder Mills, near Willmington, Del.
*Of August 1, p. 562.