An official copy of your letter and the above indorsement has been referred to Brigadier General L. Thomas, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, at Louisville, Ky., for his action, if necessary.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. TOWNSEND,
Springfield, Mass., August 20, 1864.
His Excellency JOHN A. ANDREW,
DEAR SIR: From present indications I believe it will be impossible for this city to fill its quota under the last call of the President by volunteers from its own citizens. We shall, however, I trust, do a good deal in this way in the course of the next ten days.
A large proportion of our enrollment is made up of unmarried men who are employed directly and indirectly by the United States Government. More or less of these men are now leaving the city daily to avoid the draft, and as the 5th of September approaches the number leaving will be largely increased. I am informed by those most competent to judge that in all probability by the time of the draft more than 500 of the ablest bodied young men who are on our enrollment will have left. Such being the case, and if we cannot fill our quota by volunteers, the draft will bear peculiarly hard upon the permanent residents here and others who have not yet parted with all their patriotism.
Now, what we want, and what I hope we may yet accomplish, is to get men from abroad to go as volunteers. I have, I think, a reasonable prospect of procuring 300 men (foreigners) to apply on our quota; but to get them here will require six or seven weeks, and they will avail us nothing unless some arrangement can be made with the War Department, so that the notification to men who may be drafted can be temporarily suspended.
If Your Excellency is so disposed and will intercede for us at Washington for the purpose of obtaining permission to our Board of Enrollment to suspend these notices, in case of a draft, for a limited period, I shall fell greatly and personally obliged, and the obligation will be one which our citizens will appreciate in an eminent degree.
I remain, with great respect, your obedient servant,
H. ALEXANDER, JR.,
AUGUST 22, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to the Honorable the Secretary of War this letter of the mayor of Springfield, Mass.
The men offered are trained soldiers, who have seen foreign service, of real merit and value. I hope the Department will go to the verge of its powers in enabling the mayor to reach and secure them, by agreeing to their substitution in the manner proposed.
JOHN A. ANDREW,
Governor of Massachusetts.