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1863 December 5: How to Pay the Commutation Fee and Other Draft Information

December 7, 2013

Various draft-related articles from The Prescott Journal, and The Polk County Press of December 5, 1863.

From The Prescott Journal:


As we have been “grafted into the army,” reported as ordered, paid our “regular three hundred,” and are honorably discharged “for three years,” we can give some information to drafted men which may be of interest.

The government furnishes transportation both to and from La Crosse.  The notice which the drafted man has served upon him, has upon its back a blank requisition for transportation, which is to be given to the person or company transporting him.  This blank is good for transportation to La Crosse ;  the authorities there will furnish the return transportation.

Persons who intend to pay the commutation fee can do so at any time.  The Money is to be paid to the Deputy U. S. Collector at La Crosse.  The Collector will give the person paying the money, a receipt.  By showing the Collector’s receipt a person can get admitted to the Marshall’s [sic] office, where he will get his discharge papers, and transportation home.

Persons who intend going into the service can report at any time and they will be sent to quarters.  Those who desire an examination had better not report until the 16th inst., as they cannot be attended before that time, and probably not until later.  The sub-districts are taken up in the order they were drafted, and a man cannot be examined until all those drafted before him are disposed of.  Persons examined and accepted will not receive a furlough of return home.

No one will be accepted as a substitute who is liable to the next draft.—Hudson City Times.

Bounty for Getting Recruits.

 We understand that in several instances when persons have brought in recruits to the examining surgeon in this city, other parties have pursuaded [sic] them that none but officers could get the recruits accepted, and have thus pocketed all the bounty save two dollars allowed to the one who has brought the recruits.  This is not only unjust to those who are getting recruits, but is calculated to largely decrease the number brought in.  It should be generally understood that any one who brings a recruit and gets him accepted, is intitled [sic] to the whole Government bounty—fifteen dollars.—When the recruit is accepted by the surgeon, the name of the person bringing him in is set down, and on this evidence the bounty will be paid.  We may say, by the way, that there is no more profitable business at this time than this.  We have known one instance where over three hundred dollars was earned in one week.  The provision of the law giving this bounty is a very wise one and should not be nullified through the interested mis-interpretation of those who do nothing really in obtaining men.—Milwaukee Sentinel.

From The Polk County Press:

BOUNTY FOR GETTING RECRUITS.—Any person who brings a recruit and gets him accepted, is entitled to the whole government bounty—fifteen dollars.  When the recruit is accepted by the surgeon, the name of the person bringing him in is set down, and on this evidence the bounty will be paid.


November 17, 1863. }

Circular No 101.— As complaints have been made that errors have occurred in the enrollment of the national forces, by the omission of persons whose names should have been enrolled, and by the addition of names of persons, who by reason of alienage and for other causes, aught not to have been called upon ;  and as it is desirable that the Department should have such information as may be necessary in order to do fall justice to all parties, it is hereby ordered,

That the Board of Enrollment of each district shall have printed lists of names and residences of all persons enrolled in each sub-district, prepared and exposed to public view, in at least five places in each sub-district, and as many more as the Board may deem necessary.  The names will be placed upon these lists in alphabetical order.  Public notice will be given by advertisements upon the lists of names and in newspapers.  That any person who may appear before the Board and claim to have his name stricken off the list, if he can show to the satisfaction of the Board that he is not and could not be at the time fixed for the next draft liable to military duty on account of



THIRD—Unsuitableness of age.

FOURTH—Manifest permanent physical disabilities.

Persons who may be cognizant of any other persons liable to military duty whose names do not appear on the enrollment list, are requested to notify the Board of Enrollment, who shall thereupon direct the enrolling officer of the sub-district in which the parties reside, to ascertain the facts, and enroll the persons so reported, if they are found to be subject to enrollment.  These may avail themselves of the privilege of appearing as specified in paragraph first, if they had been originally enrolled.

Boards of enrollment will use all diligence in the collection of necessary information, and making requisite notes to perfect the enrollment, will proceed as provided in paragraph one, until the 20th of December, 1863, after which no cases will be heard.  As soon as possible thereafter, a list of proposed corrections will be made out according to the printed instructions, and transmitted to the Provost Marshal General.  The names and residences of those proposed to be stricken out or added will be transmitted to the Provost Marshal General, for the purpose of correcting the list on file.

Provost Marshal General.

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