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[15] flagged, the draft must be resorted to. But, when the conscription was ordered, a year before, the enemies of the government had broken out into absolute riot and resistance, burning the houses of prominent citizens, murdering defenceless negroes, and shooting down national officers on duty and in their uniform, in the greatest city of the North. A renewal of these scenes was now threatened,1 and, naturally enough, was dreaded by the government. Grant, however, remained urgent, and on the l3th of September, he wrote to Stanton: ‘We ought to have the whole number of men called for by the President, in the shortest possible time. Prompt action in filling up our armies will have more effect upon the enemy than a victory. They profess to believe, and make their men believe, there is such a party in favor of recognizing Southern independence that the draft cannot be enforced. Let them be undeceived. Deserters come into our lines daily, who tell us that the men are nearly universally tired of the war, and that desertions would be much more frequent, but that they believe peace will be negotiated after the fall elections. The enforcement of the draft and prompt filling up of our armies will save the shedding of blood to an immense extent.’

1 ‘The people in many parts of the North and West now talk openly and boldly of resisting the draft, and it is believed that the leaders of the Peace branch of the Democratic party are doing all in their power to bring about this result. The evidence of this has increased very much within the last few days. It is probably thought that such a thing will have its effect upon the next election by showing the inability of the present administration to carry on the war with an armed opposition in the loyal states.’—Halleck to Grant, August, 1864.

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