As I understand it, the arguments in favor of these claims are:
First, they would enable the generous and loyal men in the different districts to aid in getting their fair share of recruits into the Army by contributing their money in the form of local bounties, and second, would prevent the parsimonious and those hostile to the Government and the war from deriving any advantage form the action of these loyal associations and clubs in filling or partly filling the quotas of the different districts, which contain men of two classes, the first favorable to the war and willing to contribute money, and the second not so.
It is complained that the money and zeal of the first class under present rules fill the quotas, and thus not only release them but also release the second class, who have done nothing in their own behalf or that of the country. By the arrangement proposed it is expected that the first class may be released and the draft left to fall upon the second class for its share of men.
Wilson and Banfill ask that "recruits be accepted as substitutes for such residents of the District of Columbia as may have deposited with them the sum of $200."
Mr. Sayler, on the part of the association in Cincinnati, asks that "any person furnishing a recruit under this call for troops shall be by reason thereof himself exempted from the pending draft."
On these schemes in general it may be remarked that while the justice in some of them commends itself there are objections to their adoption.
The following may be mentioned:
First. The acts of Congress provide that when the President calls for men fo the military and naval service, the quota to be furnished from each locality 'shall be as nearly as possiof men resident therein liable to render military service, taking into account as far as practicable the number which has been previously furnished therefrom," and that every volunteer and substitute shall be credited" to the locality toward the quota of which he may have volunteered or engaged as a substitute, and in case the quota is not filled within fifty days by the credits, then the President shall immediately order a draft for one year to fill such quota or any part thereof which may be unfilled."
In making this draft section 10 of the act of February 24, 1864, forbids omitting from the draft or exempting any men in the locality liable to render military service, except such as are physically or mentally unfit, those actually in service at the time of draft, and those who have served two years during the present war and been honorably discharged.
Section 4 of the act of February 24, 1864, provides:
That any person enrolled under the provisions of the act for enrolling and calling out the national forces, and for other purposes, approved March third, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, or who may be hereafter so enrolled, may furnish, at any time previous to the draft, an acceptable substitute, who is not liable to draft, nor, at the time, in the military or naval service of the United States; and such person so furnishing a substitute shall be exempt from draft during the time for which such substitute shall not be liable to draft, not exceeding the time for which such substitute shall have been accepted.
An opportunity is afforded by this section for every man liable to duty to secure himself against being drafted by furnishing a substitute before the draft is made. The law makes no other provision for exemption, nor does it provide any plan for the exemption of members of clubs or associations.