and consider such reasons and arguments, if presented in writing, without delay, and the circle around almost every hearthstone in the county and country being deeply and vitally interested in this question, must be the apology for further trespassing upon your consideration.
It is perhaps proper to state what has been the action of the county and district under previous calls. Every call has been promptly met and filled without murmur or complaint, and the people are still ready and determined to do their whole duty to their common country, so that the action taken and the remarks heretofore and now offered are not presented with the view or wish to shrink from bearing an equal share of the common burden now pressing so heavily upon our common country.
When a call was made upon us for men for nine months the county of Queens furnished almost its whole quota in three-years" men, and having done so, applied through a communication to you for some consideration upon the next call on that account, and were informed that such excess of years had been carried to the credit of the State at large to make up for deficiencies of other sections of the State in not filling their quota even with nine- months" men; so that our county stood in no better condition before your department than if it failed to respond to that call entirely.
The warm patriotism of the people, being somewhat chastened by the results of that effort, filled a considerable portion of the recent call for 500,000 men with soldiers for one year, and are now told they are to be punished for so doing by being required to furnish now as many of their neighbors" husbands and sons as other localities may have furnished promises and promissory to serve beyond the year which our neighbors have agreed to serve; or, in other words, we must put two men of flesh and blood into the Army, in addition to the one already put in, to make us equal with that locality of equal population which has got one man in the field who had promised to stay for three years.
To meet this requirement of your department we are now called upon to send forth 1,666 of our most loved and valuable men to answer a call for 300,000 men, when we were only called upon to furnish 1,267 men to answer the recent call for 500,000 men-- being 400 more men, lacking one, to fill the call for the 300,000 men than were required of us to fill the call for 500,000, being almost double the aggregate number now called for.
If we now had the credit for the 800 three-years" men which we put in when men for nine months were demanded of us, there would be now standing to our credit 1,800 years of service, which would be more than sufficient to fill the present call, excessive as we claim that it is.
The Government has now actually had those 1,800 years of service from the soldiers of Queens County, and they, therefore, no longer rest in mere promises. Ought we not to have that credit? If the State at large has received the credit for the 1,800 excess of years furnished by Queens County, why should not the State be charged with that excess before its quota is assessed? Would not that be just and equitable? Is there any act of Congress standing in the way of such action? If the city of Brooklyn or other locality is situated in the same way, why should they not be so credited?
But as you say that those excess of years were credited to the State, then why not at least credit the State at large with the present excess of years of service, and then our locality would get some of it.