War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 1236 CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.

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to numbers or associations of individuals in any sub-district, before the liability of any of them became fixed by a draft, to obtain volunteer recruits for the Army. Congress in this law offers such associations a premium to use their exertions to fill up the armies. It says to the residents of the multitudinous counties, townships, wards, and precincts throughout the county, "Organize yourself into recruiting societies; induce volunteers to enlist into the service before the draft; pay them such amounts of bounty as you may be able to raise by your contributions to the recruiting funds of your several districts; and when they have been enlisted into the service the volunteers you may have raised will stand to the credit of as many of you as may happen to be drafted, to the extend of the number of recruits, "in the order designated," at the time the recruits are mastered in."

Such is the declaration and promise of the new law. Its policy is to encourage recruiting, not the procuration of substitutes; to inclose the people to organize associations for the advancement of volunteering,rather than the purchase of substitutes.

In enacting this new law and inaugurating this new policy Congress, however, has not taken away the right of the enrolled person, before the draft, to furnish a substitute, which the qualification before stated, and thus secure his exemption from draft during the time for which his substitute shall have been accepted. He still has it in his power to exercise that right in preference to the right conferred by the twenty-third section of the act of 3rd of March, 1865, of obtaining a "recruit" previous to each draft, as it may occur, and securing thereby a credit in the event, on any occasion, of his being drafted.

I am of opinion, therefore, that the twenty-third section of the act of March 3, 1865, does not supersede the fourth section of the act of February 24, 1864.

There second question which you have referred to me is, whether the recruits, which are "to be taken as substitutes," are to be considered and borne upon the muster-rolls and records of the office of the Provost-Marshal-General as other volunteer recruits which are obtained at the expense of the Untied States, or as substitutes which are furnished at the cost of the principals.

I am of the opinion that the recruit whom persons enrolled in any sub-district may "cause to be mustered into the service of the United States," in pursuance of the twenty-third section of the act of 3rd of March, 1865, are to be considered and treated as other volunteers who are obtained act the expense of the Untied States. It will be observed from the any lysis of the law of 1864 is substitution, while the idea of the law of 1865 is crediting. The section of the act of 1865 under consideration does not speak of the recruits in question as substitutes, but declares that they 'shall be taken as substitutes" for the persons who cause them to be mustered in. They are not substitutes, but only of the nature of substitutes. Their primary and essential character under the law is that of credits for their procurers or principals; and this description is the first description given of them in the section in question, for, after saying "which recruits shall stand to the credit of the persons thus causing them to be mastered in," the section proceeds, "and shall be taken as substitutes for such persons, or so many of them as may be drafted, to the extent of the number of such recruits."

A critical study of the words of the stature thus develops the fundamental idea which I supposed from the indications was intended to be embodied in the law. The recruits who are to 'stand to the