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1864 February 6: 200,000 More Men to be Drafted in March

February 6, 2014

The following article is from the February 6, 1864, issue of The Prescott JournalThe Polk County Press of the same date printed the small paragraph that follows, and then printed the two letters (Lincoln’s and Fry’s) the following week, February 13, 1864.

T H E   D R A F T .

200,000 More Men Called For.

Draft to Come Off on March 10th.


Washington, January 30, 1864. }

It is hereby ordered that a draft for five hundred thousand men to serve for three years or during the war, be made on the tenth day of March next, for the military service of the United States, crediting and deducting the reform so many as may have been enlisted or drafted into the service, prior to the 1st day of March, and not heretofore credited.

(Signed) .    .   .    .    .  ABRAHAM LINCOLN.


Explanatory Note of Col. Fry.

WAR DEPARTMENT . . . . . . . . . . . .   . }
. . . . . . . . . . . . February 1, 1864.  . . . . .}

The President’s order of this date for draft on the 10th March, for 500,000 men after deductions all who may be raised prior to March 1st and not therefore credited, is equivalent a call for 200,000 men in addition to the 300,000 call prior October 17.

(Signed).    .   .    .    .  JAS. B. FRY, P. M. G. [Provost Marshal General]


— The order for another levy of 200,000 men will excite general surprise, but at the same time we believe it will meet with general approval.  There is no doubt but that the strength of the Rebellion is terrible depleted and its downfall is nigh, yet it is policy for the Government to hold a full hand to the last—to relax no energy—omit no preparation.

We think it doubtful whether there will be need of the draft.  The unanimity with which the old regiments are reenlisting, the splendid bounties paid to volunteers, and the general feeling that Rebellion is on the brink of its downfall, all tend to agree the number of recruits, that in most places at least, the draft will be avoided.

From The Polk County Press:

A NEW CALL.—We learn from Mr. BLAIR, of Stillwater, that another call for 200,000 men to serve for three years or during the war, has just been made.  The President has ordered that a draft be made for 500,000 men on the 10th day of March, deducting the number who have enlisted since the call for 300,000 men of October 17, 1863.  If this is the case, and we have no reason to doubt it, our county has yet to raise 16 more men.  Who will enlist?

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