War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0631 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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such substitute, which sum shall be fixed at a uniform rate by a general order made at the time of ordering a draft for any State or Territory; ;and thereupon such person so furnishing the substitute, or paying the money, shall be discharged from further liability under that draft. And any person failing to report after due service of notice, as herein prescribed, without furnishing a substitute, or paying the required sum therefor, shall be deemed a deserter, and shall be arrested by the provost- marshal and sent to the nearest military post for trial by court- martial, unless, upon proper showing that he is not liable to do military duty, the Board of Enrollment shall relieve him from the draft.

I understood it to be the meaning and intention of the law to limit the privilege of putting in a substitute, or paying money, to the period prior to the time fixed for the drafted man's actual appearance, and that during this period he should determine which of the three things he would do-furnish a substitute, pay the commutation money, or appear in person for duty. According to my construction, the privilege of doing either of the first two was to terminate by law with "the day fixed for his appearance." On or before that day he was to pay commutation money or present for duty a substitute or himself.

He could do either of the first two things without being troubled to appear at all. Whichever offer he made the Government was required to accept. If he presented himself, and upon examination was found suitable for military duty, I did not consider it in the meaning of the law or the interests of the service privilege expiring by law with he day fixed for his appearance should be renewed. To allow this would reduce the number of conscripts, delay the procuring of men, and add to the labors and complications of the Bureau. The draft was resorted to only as a stern necessity, after other means of recruiting had failed. The object was to re-enforce its armies. That object could not properly be sacrificed or subordinated to the preferences or prejudices of the parties unpleasantly affected by the draft. It was urged that being an obnoxious measure it should be administered with gentleness and generosity. The principle thus asserted was not disputed in this Bureau. On the contrary, it was made to apply to all of our people-those in front of the enemy as well as those at home. But all tenderness (not required by law) to those who stayed at home and waited to be drafted-all consideration for them which would delay the execution of the draft and reduce the number of conscripts furnished by it-was clearly harshness and cruelty to the men who had gone forth voluntarily, and whose safety as ell as that of the country depended on prompt re-enforcements.

The law did not permit the drafted men to provide substitutes or pay commutation after the day fixed for their appearance. It was not practicable on the day fixed for their appearance both to complete their examination and go through the operation of receiving their money or substitutes. I therefore directed that they must decide before their examination and abide by the choice. The following are official opinions rendered by the Judge-Advocate-General on the subject:

In the case of a drafted man who fails to furnish a substitute, or pay commutation, on or before the day fixed for his appearance.


Under the thirteenth section of the enrollment act, it is clear that a party drafted and wishing to furnish a substitute or pay the commutation must do so "on or before the day fixed for his appearance." The privilege expires with that day. If he fails to report himself, and is arrested as a deserter, he has still the right to