War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0641 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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when quotas under a subsequent call were to be apportioned, as provided by the act last referred to. This view of the subject was presented to the Solicitor of the War Department immediately after the passage of the act of July 4, who, upon examination of the several acts of Congress bearing upon the subject, fully sustained it, as will appear by his opinion, dated August 1, 1864.a

The call of July 18,b 1864, contained a proviso directing that "this call shall be reduced by all credits which may be established under section 8 of the aforesaid act, on account of persons who have entered the naval service during the present rebellion, and by credits for men furnished to the military service in excess of calls heretofore made."

Under this provision the call was reduced from 500,000 to less than 300,000, rendering necessary an additional call, which was issued by the President on the 19th day of December, 1864,b for 300,000 men.

It was known that in addition to the ordinary losses incident to active operations the Army during the year 1865 would be greatly reduced by the expiration of the term of enlistment of a large number of troops, embracing all the three-years" men of 1862 who had not re-enlisted in veteran organizations, the two-years" men of 1863, and the one-year men of 1864. To meet this reduction and maintain the effective strength of the Army the last call was made for actual men, and embraced no margin for reduction on account of credits for troops previously raised, as explained in a letter to the Governor of Vermont, from which the following is an extract:

The pending call is not for 300,000 men subject to fair credits, but it is for 300,000 remaining after all fair credits have been deducted; and it is impossible to concede what Vermont asks without coming out short of the 300,000 men, or making other localities pay for the partiality shown her.

* * * * *

Yours, truly,


It was not intended, however, to deprive any district or town of its proper credit for men furnished under previous calls, nor to release any district or locality from furnishing its quota under that call in addition to its deficiency existing under former calls. The object was to raise 300,000 men in such manner that the excess or deficiency on previous calls in every sub-district would be taken into account, either to diminish or to increase the share of the 300,000 which the sub-district would be required to furnish. No other proper method of distribution could have been adopted to carry out the orders of the President, produce 300,000 men under the call, and do justice to all sections of the country.

As many districts and towns were in excess-that is, had furnished more than their quotas under former calls-it was evident that they would have less than a pro rata share to furnish under this call, while those districts and towns that were deficient under former calls would be called upon for more than a pro rata share under this.

The exact amount of excess or deficiency depended upon the amount of service furnished under previous calls. In determining this I considered not only the number of men raised, but the period for which they engaged to serve as required by law.c

a See Appendix, Doc. 27, Art. 1.

b See Appendix, Doc. 36.

c Act March 3, 1863, section 12.