I think the Second and Third Congressional Districts of Brooklyn, which are now so overburdened, also furnished principally three- years" men to fill the call for men for nine months, and thus they are placed in the same condition with Queens County, whereas if they had the credit for the excess of years for the men then furnished, and who from lapse of time have now actually given such service, it is fair to presume they would now be free from the present call.
Your department has apportioned the present call upon the basis or theory that under the last call one man who enlisted for three years was then equivalent to three men for one year. If that be sound, then why not allow us to fill the present quota demanded of us by putting in one-third the number now demanded of us for three years?
I beg leave to urge and insist in the most earnest but respectful manner that it is highly unjust and unequal to require the locality which was in answer to the call of the President sent forth one-year's men three or four months ago, now to send twice as many more to make it equal to what it would have been had it at first sent three-years" men. In other words, if Districts A and B have an equal number of enrolled citizens, and under the last call for 500,000 District A furnished 1,000 recruits for three years and District B 1,000 recruits for one year, each district is now equally represented upon the field of strife by 1,000 soldiers, and will be for the next eight months; and if District B under the present call is compelled to first furnish 2,000 more men before District A is called upon for more. the result is that District B for at least six months of this year has the lives of 3,000 of its citizens exposed at the same time to all the hazards of war and disease, while District A has but 1,000 exposed, and for six months of the next year B has 2,000 soldiers exposed to 1,000 from District A.
District A, which has put 1,000 recruits for three years into the Army, has assumed no responsibility, except that it has escaped a moderate amount for bounties greater than has District B for its 1,000 of one-year's men, and the recruits going in have promised to continue for three years if they are not sooner killed or disabled, or if the war does not sooner end.
Under this rule there is no equality. Each district of equal arms-bearing population is not called upon to risk an equal portion of its dearest of all earthly treasures--the lives of its youth and early manhood; but, on the contrary, one is compelled to yield up to the chances of slaughter at the same time three where the other offers one on the common altar, and that one merely promises to continue longer. In order to justify in any manner the adoption of the present rule of apportionment it must have been assumed or presumed that this wicked rebellion would under reasonable probabilities continue for three years from the time of filling the last call for 500,000. Is not such an assumption unreasonable and improbable and contrary to the best information, official as well as unofficial?
The question was put by the Provost-Marshal-General to know how the apportionment could have been made more equal and equitable and at the same time properly observe the mandate of the acts of Congress requiring "the quotas of the respective districts to be equalized as far as practicable, by considering as well the term of service as the number of men." I think I might very properly say, how can the President in fixing the quota for Queens County obey and enforce the mandate of these acts of Congress without considering and crediting excess of years furnished on the call for nine-months" men? But I answer that as the two supposed districts, A and B, are now equal,