The Draft in Illinois. — Letter from Col. I. N. Morris.
WASHINGTON CITY, D. C.,
August 20th, 1863.
Editor State Register: I arrived in this city late last evening, and knowing the very great interest felt upon the subject at home, have to-day made inquiry in regard to the draft in Illinois under the conscription act. The facts I have ascertained are of value to all our citizens, and I have thought proper to communicate them to your paper, believing they would be acceptable.
One fifth of the first class reported on the rolls, as subject to military duty under the present call, will be required for actual service. Each state will, however, be allowed a credit for the excess heretofore furnished. The excess of our state is over forty thousand, exclusive of the three months volunteers, who are not taken into the account in any instance. The computation is made upon the basis of thirteen congressional districts, and without regard to the member elected from the state at large. If the districts average twelve thousand each, subject to duty under the call, and this it is thought here will be about a fair average, the number of the districts multiplied by twelve gives the whole number one hundred and fifty-six thousand. So that it would leave us an excess of over nine thousand, thirty-one thousand and twenty being one-fifth of one hundred and fifty-six thousand. If the districts should average fifteen thousand each, our excess of forty thousand, (it is a little over that) for which the state will be credited, is equal to one-fifth of one hundred and ninety-five thousand, and certainly no greater number of names will be enrolled, especially in the fist class, and I think there can not be near so many. Our quota thus being more than filled on former requisitions, even on the basis of fifteen thousand to a district, I can safely say, on the basis I have given, that Illinois will not be required to furnish a single man under the present call.
My information is from the highest source, and may be regarded as entirely reliable. All suppositions and apprehensions to the contrary of what I have communicated may be dismissed.
No one need entertain a fear that Col. Fry, provost marshal general, will do injustice to any section. He is a native of our state, and son of Gen. Jacob Fry, of Green county, an old and honored citizen. Having been educated at West Point, and being possessed of fine natural abilities his endowments, and long experience in the regular army, ought to have seemed him an important and active command before this. Illinois owes it to herself and to the country to demand his appointment as a major general. Just and discriminating in his views, and having great powers of combination and strategic skill, he would be invaluable in the field. No more honorable, conscientious or just man lives. Let us cherish him as our gifted and favored son.
I cannot close this hasty letter without congratulating our noble Illinois upon the courage and patriotism she has so gallantly displayed. Let her stand firm and united against the rebellion and for a restoration of the Union, the great paramount objects always to be kept in view — let no mobs and no violations of law dishonor her — let her still uphold "State Sovereignty and National Union" — let her preserve untarnished the proud record she has made, and when this storm shall have passed away we will not blush for her.
Yours, truly, I. N. MORRIS.