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1864 March 12: The Draft Postponed … Again

March 13, 2014

The following three articles are from the March 12, 1864, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.  The two newspapers took a very different approach to this news.

From The Prescott Journal:

The Draft.

The draft has been indefinately [sic] postponed.  We have no doubt but that it will be made in towns whose quota is not full, but the time is a matter of conjecture.

We regret that the draft did not come off as ordered.  It is cruel and contemptible to trifle with the public in a matter so grave as this.  Such action shakes the confidence of the people in the Government.  It is beginning to be believed that Col. FRY [James B. Fry], at least, does not know “his regular biz.”  His ways, like those of Providence, are “past finding out.”  His orders are not much more reliable than a Philadelphia telegraphic dispatch.  It is time that the public ceased to be fooled in this manner.

From The Polk County Press:

Extension of Bounties—Postponement of the Draft.

The following despatch received at St. Paul, by the Adjutant General of Minnesota explains itself :

WASHINGTON, March 3d, 1864.

Congress has extended the time for paying the extra bounty to April 1st, 1864.

JAS. B. FRY,
Provost Marshal General.

Immediately after the following despatch was also received, which postpones the draft indefinately [sic] :

WASHINGTON, March 4.

Lieut. Col. J. T. Averall, A. A. P. M. G.:

Orders requiring the draft on the tenth instant are suspended.  A subsequent day for commencing the draft will be announced in time to make all necessary preparations.  Notify the Governor.

JAS. B. FRY,
Provost Marshal General.

Now as the draft has been postponed we hope to see steps taken to fill the quota of Osceola and Farmington.  Osceola is deficient probably three or four men, and Farmington probably two.  With a little extra exertion on the part of our citizens these men can be obtained and thus Polk County’s quota be filled once more.  Come let the matter be attended to at once.

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Wisconsin’s Quota.

We give below the quotas of the several districts, with the amount of their credits, up to and including the 31st day of January last :

DISTRICT. QUOTA. CREDIT.
    1st, 3,666 2,094
    2d, 3,099 2,038
    3d, 2,607 1,574
    4th, 2,747 1,723
    5th, 3,020 1,474
    6th,     2,732    1,507
    Totals: 17,871 10,410

It will be seen, by these figures, that on the first of February last we had 7,461 men to raise.  The enlistments since that time will very largely reduce this number.  As soon as they can be ascertained, the credits up to March 1st will be made out and deducted.  There will be a draft for whatever portion of our quota remains unfilled after the 1st of April.

Wonder what “Brick” Pomeroy [M.M. “Brick” Pomeroy] of the La Crosse Democrat,—who said when the call was made, that “The President of HALF of the United States” could not get them,—thinks now.  On the 31st day of January, Wisconsin had furnished under the new call 10,410 men, and by this time the State’s quota must be nearly full.  “Father Abraham” [President Abraham Lincoln] can get more troops without the aid of the Democrat, than with it, and so it don’t matter whether “Brick” is a Patriot or a coppery cuss.

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