War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 1272 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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enrollment lists, conversations with intelligent citizens, reports of district provost-marshals and other officers, convinced me that it would be an interminable labor to fill the quota of this city by draft. This led to a more careful study of the system of volunteering adopted and in operation. I found the whole business of obtaining volunteers and substitutes in the hands of an irresponsible committee of citizens, who were using the vast means and power more for personal and partisan purposes than to forward the interests of the United States. The citizens at large were utterly careless and apathetic, leaving the whole matter of their quota to this committee. I felt that if I could decentralize the recruiting, and by placing it in the hands of ward committees excite local interests, I would be more likely to be successful in promptly filling the quota. To obtain permission to defer the draft, I applied for leave to visit Washington. Unfortunately during my absence, and contrary to my orders, the draft took place in most of the districts. This greatly injured the chance of success of my plans by rendering indifferent that the drafted men should be notified to hold themselves in readiness to report when ordered.

After some little delay the ward committees (recruiting) had everything in working order. I then informed all concerned that the orders of the Provost-Marshal-General that district provost- marshals should be kept fully occupied would be literally and strictly enforced.

My success did not meet my whises. I resorted not only to the draft, but to the most rigorous and heartless enforcement of it. In the First Ward (which was doing nothing) I sent one special agent with notices to drafted men to report. Not more than one out of five obeyed the notification, and of those who obeyed not one in ten was held to service. Those held were not allowed a moment, but were immediately clothed and sent to draft rendezvous same day. This severity was productive of most excellent effect, and while appeals, complaints, and protests against my "barbarity" were constantly made, recruits came in with redoubled rapidity.

On March 31 the quota of the First Ward was about 300. Between the 1st and 12th of April it put into service 159 men, more than half the quota. Other wards have done nearly as well, and the district provost-marshals have been kept as nearly fully occupied as possible. The experiment made of drafting is entirely satisfactory of the impracticability of filling the quota by that means alone.

I append a statement taken from report of district provost- marshals, which shows this fact conclusively. This arises in a very great measure from the imperfection of the enrollment lists. the difficulty is enhanced by the floating character of the mass of the population of this city; the facility with which a drafted man can change name and residence; the inducements to do this held out to drafted men in the high bounties given to volunteers, and the fact that any man disposed to cheat the Government can in this city readily procure the best professional advice as to how it can be done with least risk. The poor success which attend the efforts to induce volunteering, both of the supervisory committee and the ward committees, assures me that the quota could not have been filled by volunteering alone, and I am convinced that the plan adopted by me (viz, to render as perfect as possible the machinery for procuring volunteers and substitutes, and then by exercise of most uncompromising severity to keep that