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INSTRUCTIONS TO MARSHALS.
STATE OF INDIANA,
Indianapolis, October 9, 1862.
To the Marshal of
In the order in regard to collecting the $200 of the conscientious, no time is fixed for collection. I do not now fix any time, leaving it to your reasonable discretion. While it is desirable to have the money as soon as convenient, it is not designed to oppress or distress any one. When a man is not able to pay the amount, or if the payment would strip him of his household goods, or necessary tools in his trade, or those things necessary for his support, the collection is not enjoined. The former order is modified to this extent. The word 56
The word “exemption” should be omitted, so as to allow every person to hold the amount allowed by our exemption laws. If a person has not more property than is exempt by law, you will simply return his name as being unable to pay.
J. P. SIDDALL,
GENERAL COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE,
Indianapolis, October 10, 1862. OLIVER P. MORTON,
Governor of Indiana: Some complaints have been made to this oflice by the class known as the “Conscientious Exempts," as to the manner in which it was ascertained who are to pay the required equivalent. As I have been unable to see the justness of the complaint, they have appealed to you. To aid you in determining the points involved, I deem it proper to state the wodle ridopted, and the reasons for its adoption.
Our State Constitution exempts this class of persons from military service, but provides that they shall pay an equivalent. The provision is as follows: “No person conscientiously opposed to bearing arms, shall be compelled to do militia duty; but such person shall pay an equivalent for exemption." If error has been committed in the mode adopted, it consists in not requiring every person so exempt to pay the equivalent, instead of forty per cent. of that number. It is contended, by a number of good lawyers, that the spirit and language of the Constitution requires that all persons claiming the benefit of this provision, should pay the sum fixed by the Secretary of War by virtue of an Act of Congress. I thought, however, the mode adopted more equitable, und within the spirit of the Constitution. The Constitution declares that “ The militia shall consist of all able-bodied white inale persons, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such as may be exempted by the laws of the United States or of this State.” The saine Constitution exempts the conscientious, they, therefore, form no part of the State militia, and were not counted as such in fixing the quota of any township.
Their names can not be placed in the box among those subject to draft,
because they are exempt by an express constitutional provision Their exemption is not dependent on payment of the equivalent, but is complete prior to such payment, leaving the equivalent to be collected subsequently.
If the payınent had been made a condition precedent to the exemption, then their names would have been placed in the ballot box with others subject to draft; and on being drawn they would have been released only on payment of the sum fixed. But, as they were already exempt, this could not be done, and it was only left to mark them all as exempt on our books and provide for the payment of an equivalent.
In the absence of the constitutional provision, their names would have been all placed in the ballot box and drawn the same as others.
As they were exempt, they were deducted from the militia of each township.
If the able-bodied men of a township, between the ages of pighteen and forty-five, numbered twelve hundred, and four huncred of that number were conscientious exempts, the township was only charged with cight hundred militia, and its quota based on that number. If the whole iwelve hundred were treated as militia, it would have to furnish four hundred and fighty soldiers, being forty per cent., but, as the four hundred conscientious exempts are deducted, the township only has to furnish three hundred and twenty men, being one hundred and sixty less than its proper proportion.
If the militia of the township, either by volunteers or draft, furnish the three hundred and twenty men, then the township has raised its quota and is released from further draft.
Is it to be claimed that this releases the township from making compensation for the remaining one hundred and sixty nen? They are still due from it, and have not been furnished. They are conscieiitious exempts and can not be compelled to go; they are, therefore, required to pay an equivalent. It requires the three hundred and twenty drafted men or volunteers, and the payment of an equivalent by the one hundred and sixty conscientious exenipts, to cover the whole proportion of the township, four hundred and eighty men.
It can not be claimed, therefore, that because a township has filled its quota of' drafts or volunteers that it has performed its whole duty. The fighting men of the township have paid the charge against them and nothing more, leaving the equivalent for the four hundred conscientious able-bodied exempts wholly unpaid. For this reason two quotas were assigned to the township, one requiring three hundred and twenty men, being forty per cent. of of the militia to be furnished for the war, the other requiring one hundred and sixty men, being forty per cent. of the conscientious, to each pay an equivalent. The two united make four hundred and eighty men, or forty per cent. of the twelve hundred ablebodied men in the township. It is to be noticed that the three thousand one hundred and sixty-nine conscientious exenipts are all able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, and would constitute a part of the militia of the State, and be subject to be called into service, were it not that they are exempt on the ground of conscience. If any one of them is not ablebodied, he would be excused from the service on the ground of physical disability, and would be placed in that list of exemptions, and have no equivalent to pay.
The conscientious exemption list is composed exclusively of those exempted on that ground alone. By the deduction of the whole number of such exempts from the total enrollment, the burden to be borne by the militia of the State would be increased unless that deduction was net by an equivalent. The general ratio of the State would be necessarily enlarged. The number raised by draft will probably fall one thousand below what was anticipated, on account of allowing credits to townships for volunteers sent previous to the enrollment, but whose names were not obtained and entered by the Commissioners. This deficit can be properly supplied by paying the two hundred dollars equivalents of the conscientious exempts to an equal number of volunteers. There are probably one thousand of such drafted exempts able to pay the equivalent. Thus the able-bodied man, who is exempt from military duty on conscientious grounds, furnishes the means by which another is induced to go, and the militia of the State is relieved from an unequal burden. As the conscientious exempt can not volunteer, or induce others to volunteer—as he can not be drafted or aid any drafted man in procuring a substitute-as he can not contribute money to war purposes as his conscience forbids him to render any active aid to any war-the Constitution requires some compensation for these excmptions. If the State is to be deprived of the active support of three thousand one hundred and sixty-nine able-bodied citizens in a great contest like this, some equivalent is required. The equivalent fixed by the War Depart