My observation of the effect of previous drafting in Kentucky, together with my knowledge of the present condition of affairs in Kentucky, induce me to entertain a firm conviction that the attempt to execute the impending draft in Kentucky will greatly aggravate the evils now upon us.
If we could, by means of a draft or otherwise, drive every disloyal person in Kentucky into the rebel army or to the South I should urge the measure and applaud the result. But you very well know that such is not the effect, and I do not doubt that the enforcement of the draft in Kentucky now would increase the guerrilla forces now in the State into such proportions that all the soldiers raised by the draft would not be sufficient to protect the lives of loyal citizens.
I feel very earnestly on this subject, for the reason that I do not believe a loyal man can live in the rural districts of this State if this draft be enforced, and most certainly we have none of that class of citizens to spare.
I trust you will call the attention of the Secretary of War to this subject.
Very respectfully, your friend and obedient servant,
B. H. BRISTOW.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY,
Lexington, February 6, 1865.
Respectfully referred to Honorable James Speed, Washington, D. C., with the recommendation that the matter referred to within be brought before the Secretary of War.
I fully concur with Mr. Bristow in his opinions and believe what he states to be true. I further believe if the draft in Kentucky be postponed for sixty days the whole quota of troops can be raised by voluntary enlistments.
S. G. BURBRIDGE,
Brevet Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.
Frankfort, Ky., February 2, 1865.
Honorable GEORGE H. YEAMAN,
Washington, D. C.:
DEAR SIR: Allow me as one of your constituents to tender my profound thanks for your bold and manly course upon the constitutional amendment, and for the very able speech in which you vindicated the wisdom of this movement.
There is no doubt that the amendment will be ratified by the requisite number of States, and I am not without hope that Kentucky will do herself the credit to shake off her old prejudices, and rising above her party feelings, do her duty to herself and to posterity in removing from our midst the disturbing element of slavery, which has so long been a blight upon our Southern States. Requiescat in pace.
I desire to call your attention to another matter of deep interest to Kentucky just now. It is the impending draft. If the draft be enforced in Kentucky now it will flood Kentucky with hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of guerrillas. If we could by enforcing the draft in Kentucky drive all the disloyal citizens of the State into the rebel army or into the South, I should rejoice, but you very well know