STATE OF RHODE ISLAND, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
providence, February 13, 1865.
His Excellency JAMES Y. SMITH,
Governor of Rhode Island, Providence, R. I.:
GOVERNOR: I have the honor to report that in accordance with Your Excellency's instructions I proceeded to Washington on the evening of the 6th instant for the purpose of obtaining from the War Department a reduction of the quota which was assigned to the State of Rhode Island under the recent cal of the President for 300,000 men, issued December 19, 1864, or procuring an extension of the time allowed for filling the same.
On my arrival at Washington I called upon Provost-Marshal-General Fry, accompanied by Honorable Thomas A. Jenckes, member of Congress from Rhode Island, who extended every attention and assistance in forwarding the wishes of Your Excellency.
I stated to General Fry the points which you directed me to bring to his attention, and the expressed an entire willingness to have the time allowed the State fill its quota extended,and requested that Your Excellency make the application to the Secretary of War. On the subject of the abatement of the quota of the State I was referred to Captain George E. Scott, of the Veteran Reserve Corps, in charge of the Enrollment Bureau, who afforded every facility for the examination of the plan upon which the quota now required from the Senate was obtained. I was informed by Captain Scott that the system adopted by the Provost-Marshal-General's department in assigning quotas to the several States and districts under the recent call of the President was as follows:
The number of men called for by the President (300,000) was multiplied by 3 to reduce it to a one-year's basis, giving 900,000; to this which was stated to be nearly 500,000 making an aggregate f 1,400,000. On the basis of a call for this number of men the quotas were then assigned to the different States, in proportion to their enrollment, giving that is termed the "grow quota," which is to be reduced by deducting any excess of service the State may have furnished over all previous calls, and the remainder is divided by 3 to give the actual number of men required under the call. If there is no excess the whole "gross quota," is to be divided by 3.
The following are the official figures of Rhode Island as given me by Captain Scott:
Enrollment............................ ......... 18,419
Gross quota........................... ......... 11,275
Excess years of service over all previous calls. 6,896
I then stated the following facts to sustain the claim of Rhode Island for abatement of quota:
First. It is a self-evident proposition that if the total excess in all the States is but 500,000 and Rhode Island's share of this excess is sufficient to meet a call for 800,000 which is fact, this State should not be required to furnish any additional men until the other States have furnished 300,000, and thus brought themselves to an equal footing with our State.