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1863 November 21: Progress of the Draft

November 24, 2013

Following are several smaller articles on the progress of the draft, from the November 21, 1863, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

The Draft.

The Draft has been the staple subject of conversation during the week past.  No one knows whether it has begun, or when it will begin in this district.  If this Co. is drafted, we shall publish names as soon as received.

About twenty-five persons have joined the Draft Aid Association here.


The Draft for this Congressional District began at La Crosse, on Monday last.

The whole number to be drafted in the District, including the 50 per ct. added is 1713.  There are 37 sub districts, the quotas of which range from 1 to 95.—In the city of La Crosse, 73 were drafted, among them, Valentine Whipple,¹ who was at the time of enrollment, at work on one of the La Crosse steamers.  He is now in California, and Dep. Pro. Mar. Dale [John L. Dale] will hardly notify him in person.  Let those that are anxious hold their breath a day or two longer, and we shall have the list of the Executive appointments.  If any feel slighted no doubt they can get the chance of some who are drawn.

 Finger002  By a private dispatch from La Crosse, we learn that the rumor that Messrs. Westfall, Townshend, and McKee were drafted on Monday, is a mistake, but the intention is to draft them when this county is reached.  Mr. Cadwell will not be drafted, as the Marshall [sic] thinks he is doing good business fighting the copperheads at home.  Mr. Hatch will be exempt on account of his promise in his last circular, to go of his own accord whenever he was needed.—Democrats will mainly be drafted from this county, the names of the Republicans being wet and stuck to the side of the box.


— The public should clearly understand that the premiums of $25 for a veteran recruit and $15 for a recruit who is not a veteran and $30 for deserters, will be paid to any person, but a commissioned officer.  The premiums are not paid to a recruit offering himself.  The order, as it originally came from the War Department limited the payment of rewards to special officers, but through the efforts of our very able Provost Marshal General, Col. Lovell [Charles S. Lovell], the order was modified for this State so that the premiums and rewards may be paid as designated above.

Here is a most excellent opportunity for our citizens to do the nation good service, and put money in their purses.

From The Polk County Press:

THE DRAFT.—The quota of this County [Polk County], as near as we can find out, is 16 men, under the present call.  Fifty per cent, added, making 26 to be drafted in all, but such as are not needed to make up the 16 will be discharged.

Sometime ago we published a letter from Adjutant Gen. GAYLORD [Augustus Gaylord], stating that our County had furnished an excess of volunteers amounting to 18, which is the case.  But owing to negligence of the Town Clerks of several towns in the County, in neglecting to send to Captain COOPER [Benjamin F. Cooper],—Provost Marshal for this District,—the number of volunteers sent from their respective towns, we failed to receive credit for our excess.  The towns that are not credited—as near as we can find out, and we have made diligent enquiries in regard to the matter,—are Sterling, Alden, Lincoln, and Farmington.  This puts Polk County behind some in her former quotas, if we mistake not.  To the Town Clerks then, the blame of the present draft must be attached.—While our County has, according to Gen. GAYLORD’s letter, sent to the war an excess of 18 men, we are now to be drafted for 16 men to fill our quota under the last call, which if we had had credit for our excess, would have given us a free pass, and two to spare on the draft to come in January.  It may not be too late yet to remedy this matter.  If not in the present draft our excess might apply to the next.

1.  Probably the Valentine Whipple who is listed in the 1860 Federal census living in Prescott, Wisconsin, with his parents, James and Mary Whipple. He was 15 in 1860, so just barely old enough to be drafted by late 1863. There is no record, however, that he ever served in the Civil War.

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