country. It was to provide the means for establishing between the Government and each locality an account of military service, in which a charge was to be made of all that was due, and credit given for all that should be paid. Under it every citizen legally liable, who was called upon for his proportion of military duty, was certain that it would be duly credited to him. Nothing could be more satisfactory to all who were willing to do their share in defense of their country.
As the law made the enrollment the basis for distributing among the different States and districts their respective quotas under the calls of the Government for troops, justice required that it should be as nearly perfect as the nature of things permitted it to be made. The correctness or incorrectness of the method adopted for computing quotas, and the arithmetical calculations by which they were ascertained, though sometimes complicated, are susceptible of prompt and conclusive demonstration to all reasonable minds.
No well-founded differences or disputes between the Government and the localities called upon, in regard to quotas of troops to be furnished, can arise from any other cause than imperfections, real or alleged, in the enrollment. The features of the law, and the circumstances under which its execution was to be commenced, were such that in the first enrollment perfection could not be attained, and owing to this fact, and the pressing necessity for an enrollment to establish a basis upon which the re-enforcement of the armies could begin, nothing more was practicable than to effect an enumeration, which, though it might contain errors, would be made under the same rules alike in all parts of the country, and which could be subsequently revised and corrected. Sections, 1, 2, and 14 of the act of March 3, 1863, are as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all able- bodied male citizens of the United States, and persons of foreign birth who shall have declared on oath their intention to become citizens under and in pursuance of the laws thereof, between the ages of twenty and forty-five years, except as hereinafter excepted, are hereby declared to constitute the national forces, and shall be liable to perform military duty in the service of the United States when called out by the President for that purpose.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the following persons be, and they are hereby, excepted and exempt from the provisions of this act, and shall not be liable to military duty under the same, to wit: Such as are rejected as physically or mentally unfit for the service; also, first, the Vice-President of the United States, the judges of the various courts of the United States, the heads of the various Executive Departments of the Government, and the Governors of the several States. Second, the only son liable to military duty of widow dependent upon his harbor for support. Third, the only son of aged or infirm parent or parents dependent upon his labor for support. Fourth, where there are two or more sons of aged or infirm parents subject to draft, the father, or, if he be dead, the mother, may elect which son shall be exempt. Fifth, the only brother of children not twelve years old, having neither father nor mother, dependent upon his labor for support. Sixth, the father of motherless children under twelve years of age dependent upon his labor for support. Seventh, where there are a father and sons in the same family and household, and two of them are in the military service of the United States as non-commissioned officers, musicians, or privates, the residue of such family and household, not exceeding two, shall be exempt. And no persons but such as are herein excepted shall be exempt: Provided, however. That no person who has been convicted of any felony shall be enrolled or permitted to service in said forces.
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That all drafted persons shall, on arriving at the rendezvous, be carefully inspected by the surgeon of the Board, who shall truly report to the Board the physical condition of each one; and all persons drafted and claiming exemption from military duty on account of disability, or any other cause, shall present their claims to be exempted to the Board, whose decision shall be final.