War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0629 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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because it gives to those who furnish substitutes an exemption not given them by the thirteenth section, which had already secured them a discharge from further liability under that draft.

Hence the conclusion seems undeniable that the seventeenth section must be ignored as of no effect upon the question of exemption, or else it must add something to section 13, the thirteenth section having secured a discharge from further liability under that draft to those who either pay the money or produce the substitute. Section 17 follows up the subject by authorizing the issue by the Board of a certificate to those who find substitutes, which certificate shall discharge them from all liability under ally military duty for a given time, to be stated therein; while the person who pays money and is discharged from further liability "under that draft" is released from his duty to enter the service at the time; but, not being released from his enrollment, is liable to any subsequent draft if such draft should be made.

WILLIAM WHITINGhe War Department.

I executed the law thus expounded by the Solicitor until November 1, 1863, when the subject, still being regarded as one in doubt, was brought to the immediate notice of the President, who examined it and ordered as follows:

The State receives the same credit for a man who has paid commutation as if the drafted citizen had gone in person or furnished a substitute; and, in like manner, towns which have raised the money to pay for their quotas receive the same credit as if actual substitutes had been furnished. It is ordered that every citizen who has paid the $300 commutation shall receive the same credit therefor as if he had furnished a substitute, and is exonerated from military service for the time for which he was drafted, to wit, for three years.

When the laws was amended on the 24th of February, 1864, a the doubt was removed by a proviso that "if any drafted person shall hereafter pay money for the procuration of a substitute under the provisions of the act to which this is an amendment, such payment of money shall operate only to relieve such person from draft in filling that quota, and his name shall be retained on the roll in filling future quotas," &c.

Writs of habeas corpus.-During this draft the practice of serving writs of habeas corpus on the officers of the Bureau became so prevalent as to interfere seriously with the progress of the business. The rule of the Bureau in regard to such writs issued by U. S. courts was to obey the writs and abide by the judgment of the court. In the cases of like writs issued by State courts the course pursued was in accordance with the following opinion of the Solicitor of the War Department.*

The courts, in many cases, still claiming jurisdiction, regarded the officer making the return as guilty of contempt. This condition of things imposed upon the officers of the Bureau difficult and embarrassing labors, and materially impeded the successful performance of their duties.

A further obstacle was met in civil courts assuming jurisdiction in cases of claims for exemption from military duty. Section 14 of the enrollment act says:

* * * 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.

The statute thus made the Board of Enrollment the special and only tribunal before which claims for exemption could be tried, wisely

a See act in Appendix, Doc. 35.


*For opinion, see Circular Numbers 36, Provost-Marshal-General's Office, July 1, 1863, Vol. III, this series, p. 460.