By 1864 it was becoming increasingly more difficult to conscript enough able-bodied men to fight for either the North or South. Before the war began in early April of 1861, the United States Army had around 16,400 officers and men. On April 9, 1861 a call was made for the District of Columbia to muster ten companies of militia. There was some resistance as evidenced by one company of 100 men: two officers, one sergeant, one corporal, one musician and ten privates refused to muster.
Less than a week later, President Lincoln called for 75,000 militiamen to serve three months. By May he was calling for 500,000 to serve three years. In 1862 there were calls for 300,000 to serve three years and later that year another 300,000 to serve for nine months. As the war continued unabated, calls for more enlistments were issued. Some would re-enlist after their term of service had expired. Even with a large numbers of troop already assembled, Lincoln made a special plea in 1863 and 1864, first to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
This article is no longer available for free at this site. It was re-written and enhanced, complete with footnotes and sources and has been published in the April 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine. Should you prefer to purchase the article only, contact me for more information.
Did you enjoy this article? Yes? Check out Digging History Magazine. Since January 2018 new articles are published in a digital magazine (PDF) available by individual issue purchase or subscription (with three options). Most issues run between 70-85 pages, filled with articles of interest to history-lovers and genealogists — it’s all history, right? 🙂 No ads — just carefully-researched, well-written stories, complete with footnotes and sources.
Want to know more or try out a free issue? You can download either (or both) of the January-February 2019 and March-April 2019 issues here: https://digging-history.com/free-samples/
Thanks for stopping by!