Thursday, August 22, 2013

Civil war Conscription: North vs. South


April 16th 1862 - First Conscription Act. Men ages 18-35 held to service for 3 years.  Those in army, are held to service for 3 years after their term of enlistment.  Soldiers over 35 could leave the army 90 days after expiration of their term of enlistment. Substitution is allowed.

October 11th, 1862 - Second Conscription Act.  President given authority to draft men 36-45.  Twenty Negro exemption - one white overseer for every twenty slaves, is highly unpopular.

July 15th 1863-  Jefferson Davis calls up men ages 36-45.

January 5th 1864 - Substitution abolished.  Principals ages 18-45, previously exempt,  are called to service.  Legal action ensues.  The principles argue the Confederate government has broken a contract.  They lose in court and are pressed into service.

February 17th 1864 -  All soldiers term of service is extended to "for duration of war". Boys aged 17, and Men 46-50 are held to service in the Home Guard. Confederate government will procure 20,000 slaves/freed blacks for employment with the Army as teamster or cooks, or in the way of work upon the fortifications, or in the Government workshops, or in hospitals or other similar duties,

November 17, 1864 - Jefferson Davis proposes purchasing 40,000 slaves to be used in non-combat roles. They could also be used in combat if necessary.  Freedom would be given upon discharge from the army.

March 13, 1865 - President Davis authorized to recruit slaves as Confederate Soldiers.


March 3, 1863 - First Conscription (Enrollment) act.  White Men 20-45 are held to service. However, married men over 35 must not be called into service until all other men have served.  Therefore, in practice, married men over 35 are exempt.  Substitution is allowed.  Payment of a $300 commutation fee discharges any liability.  Term of service is 3 years.

February 24. 1864 -  $300 Commutation fee now provides relief from only the current draft or for 1 year, whichever is less.  Discharged soldiers with 2 years service are exempt.  Colored men are subject to service with the same obligations and pay as whites.  Drafted men can now serve for 1, 2, or 3 years.

July 4th, 1864 - $300 Commutation Fee is repealed, except for religious objectors. The distinction between married men over 35 and others is eliminated.

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