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1863 October 24: President Lincoln Calls for More Troops

October 25, 2013

Following is a short article on the new call for troops, originally from the Madison (Wis.) State Journal, and reprinted in the October 24, 1863, issue of The Prescott Journal.  That is followed by President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation, which appeared in the October 24, 1863, issues of both The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.  The headlines and the text are from the Journal; the tiny first paragraph [Washington, Oct. 17 …] appeared only in the Press.

It was common practice at this time to use material from other newspapers.  Both the Journal and the Press frequently used articles from Saint Paul papers.  Sometimes they credited where they got the articles from and sometimes they did not.  Neither paper credited where they took Lincoln’s proclamation from, but both newspapers have the same exact errors, leading one to believe that they both took it from the same newspaper.  Wherever it was from it has several errors when compared with a modern transcription of the original proclamation.

300,000 More.

The President has issued a proclamation for 300,000 more men, in addition to those raised by the present draft.—They are wanted to take the places of those whose term of enlistment expires next year.  Their equitable quota will be assigned each State, and volunteers received upon the call up to the 5th of January.  If not raised by volunteering at that time, they will be raised by draft.  An ample opportunity is thus offered once more to test the soundness of the copperhead assertion that men can be readily raised by volunteering.

If we had 300,000 men in addition to those already in the field, as we should and would have had if the people of the North had remained united, and the copperheads under SEYMOUR’s  [Horatio Seymour] lead had not done and said anything to discourage enlistments, and excited hostility to the draft, what magnificent results might be wrought.  With 200,000 even, equally divided between MEADE [George G. Meade] and ROSECRANS [William S. Rosecrans], in addition to those they already have, Georgia and Virginia might be overrun and the two armies meet upon the soil of South Carolina.—State Journal.

300,000 more Men Called For.

By the President of the United States:

A   P R O C L A M A T I O N.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17.—The following proclamation has been issued by President Lincoln :

WHEREAS, The term of service of a part of the Volunteer forces of the United States will expire during the coming year, and whereas, in addition to the men raised by the present draft, it is deemed expedient to call out 300,000 volunteers to serve for three years or the war, not however exceeding three years.

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, and of the Militia of the General¹ States, when called into service, do issue this my Proclamation, calling upon the Governors of the different States to place,² and have enlisted in the United States service, for the various companies and regiments in the field from their respective States, their quotas of 300,000 men.

I further proclaim, that all volunteers that are called out and duly enlisted, shall receive advance pay, premium and bounty, as heretofore communicated to the Governors of States by the War Department through the Provost Marshal General’s Office by special letter.

I further proclaim, that all volunteers received under this call, as well as all others not heretofore credited, shall be duly credited on and deducted from the quotas established for the next draft.

I further proclaim, that if any State shall fail to raise the quota assigned to it by the War Department under this call, then a draft for the deficiency in said quota shall be made on said State or on the districts of said State for their due proportion of said quota, and the said draft shall commence on the 5th day of January, 1864.

I further proclaim, that nothing in this Proclamation shall interfere with existing orders, or those which may be issued for the present draft in the States where it is now in progress, or where it has not yet commenced.

The quotas of the States and districts will be assigned by the War Department, through the Provost Marshal,³ due regard being had for the men heretofore furnished whether by volunteering or drafting.  The recruiting will be conducted in accordance with such instructions as have been or may be issued by that Department.

In issuing this Proclamation, I address myself not only to the Governors of the several States, but also to the good and loyal people thereof, invoking them to lend their cheerful, wiling [sic]4 and effective aid to the measures thus adopted with a view to reinforce our victorious armies now in the field and bringing our needful military operations to a proper5 conclusion,6 thus closing forever the fountains of sedition and civil war.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.  Done at the City of Washington, this 17th day of October, A. D., 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eight[h].

(Signed)            ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President,
WM. H. SEWARD , Secretary of State.

1.  The actual proclamation has “several” States instead of “General” States. Both newspapers have the same error.
2.  Should be “raise” instead of “place.” Both newspapers have the same error.
3.  Should be “Provost-Marshal-General’s Office.” Both newspapers have the same error.
4.  Should be “willing, cheerful, and effective.” Both newspapers have the same error.
5.  Should be “prosperous” instead of “proper.” Both newspapers have the same error.
6.  Should be “end” instead of “conclusion.” Both newspapers have the same error.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Peter J. Close permalink
    October 25, 2013 12:59 pm

    Are you sure both newspapers made those errors? What they wrote might not be the same as what went down in history and what is on the document in Washington. But is that document the “original” or a corrected version. Where did the newspapers get their version? Perhaps the telegraph operator missed keyed, or edited it. Not knowing what the newspaper editors received, how can you state they made the error. Both making identical errors is not likely. They both probably published information from another; that source might have made an error, or that sources source.

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