cers in the volunteer and regular forces, and for ridding the service of the unworthy ones already commissioned.a
This order was the first step taken by the Government toward carrying out the maxim upon which the security of republican governments mainly depends, viz, that every citizen owes his country military service. To its adoption, and the subsequent rigorous resort to conscription, the salvation of the Union is due, more than to any other cause.
The draft under this order commenced on the 3rd of September, 1862, and was conduct by the State authorities. Of the 300,000 men called for about 87,000 were credited as having been drafted into the service under the call. This number was much reduced by desertion before the men could be got out of their respective States, and but a small portion of them actually joined the ranks of the Army.
This draft constituted the last demand of the General Government for men previous to the inauguration of the system of conscription in the following spring. It will appear evident that a just execution of a conscription law in the future by an equitable apportionment of quotas depended, to a great extent, on correctness sin the distribution of the last call by the State authorities, and the accuracy with which the records were kept and preserved for reference. Upon subsequent examination it was found that the quotas assigned by the War Department of States had not generally been distributed by the State and local authorities in proportion to the men previously furnished by the minor in proportion to the men previously furnished by the different districts or towns, and that the accounts of men furnished by the minor localities were neither complete nor correct. This fact afterward occasioned serious difficulty when the new conscription law was put into operation, and caused unjust complaints against the Provost-Marshal-General's Bureau for omissions before its creation, for which no branch of the General Government was responsible. It is a matter of record that under the volunteer system prevailing in the early part of the war different localities contributed men very unequally, owing to varying degrees of patriotism and various other causes. When the Government required further levies, and ordered the draft of August 4 to obtain them, the quotas were assigned on the basis of population, and it was proper, therefore, in apportioning them, that the men already contributed should be taken into consideration. The War Department kept the record of the number of men furnished by each State, and allotted quotas to States according to the number previously furnished. The adjustment of quotas within the State was committed to the State authorities by order of the War Department, b with the direction that they be apportioned by the Governors among the several counties, and, when practicable, among the subdivisions of counties, so that allowance should be made to the counties and subdivisions for volunteers previously furnished.
The rule prescribed at this time by the Secretary of War b of apportioning the number of men to be raised among the different localities, so that the whole number called for should be obtained, and each place required to furnish its share after due allowance was made for what it had previously furnished, is the same subsequently observed by this Bureau. Unfortunately, it was not generally applied to the State draft of 1862, as required by the orders of
a For quotas assigned and troops raised under this call, see Appendix, Doc. 6 (table of all troops called for and furnished).
b See Appendix, Doc. 20, Art. 1.