War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0826 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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first deem it expedient to intrust the calculation of quotas and credits, or any part thereof, or of any other important data requiring great circumspection and accuracy, to the district boards of enrollment. All of such calculations have been made in this office, and I am entirely convinced that any other course would have resulted in irretrievable errors and difficulty. The nice and intricate calculations required by instructions can be safely made only by a corps of trained and reliable experts, such as it has been my good fortune to have in my employ in this department.

It is further obvious that the acting assistant provost-marshal- general, being appointed directly by the Government of the United States and amenable for his official acts only to the department at Washington, is not only less liable to be unconsciously warped by the pressure of local influences, or to be affected by the importunities of individuals, than district provost-marshals and their associates, but, moreover, a knowledge of these facts and of the independent and unbiased position of the Government officer strongly predisposes the people to acquiesce in his opinions and abide by his impartial judgments, even in preference to leaving the determination of difficult questions to their own local officers.

Several instances have occurred which strikingly confirm the statement just made. I was importuned to allow the provost- marshal of the Second District, in conjunction with the civil authorities, to read just the quotas and credits of a certain county in said district, and qualified permission to do so was obtained from the Provost-Marshal-General. But after a few days of ineffectual effort to harmonize the conflicting views and interests of the citizens they acknowledged their inability to effect a satisfactory adjustment and voluntarily referred the whole matter back to me, and from my action in the premises no disposition to appeal was ever manifested. Similar instances corroborative of the opinion here advanced occurred also in the Sixth and several other districts.

The paramount importance of requiring duplicate copies of the original enrollment lists to be transmitted to this office for file, and also full reports of the names of drafted men, will further appear in connection with the matter of credits, hereinafter considered. In no other way, it is believed, can the fraudulent practices which have largely obtained in the matter of credits be effectually prevented.

As related to the idea of a strongly centralized administration of the affairs of your Bureau in each State, I would also earnestly recommend that, in case operations should ever be resumed, the account of the Government should be kept with States only, disregarding all minor subdivisions, as Congressional districts, counties, precincts, &c., and that the calculation of quotas and credits and the management of all the details of the draft for each State be intrusted to the respective acting assistant provost-marshals-general. Your attention has already been frequently called to the discrepancies between the records of your office and mine, arising from the fact that while the Washington basis has been the Congressional district the unit of calculation in this office has of necessity been the sub- district.

Let the Government ascertain the number of men required to be raised and apportion the same among the respective States as quotas, leaving it to the respective acting assistant provost- marshals-general, with such aid as can be obtained from the State and local authorities, to adjust and apportion the State quota among such units of territory as may by law be established as sub-districts, and to execute the