Black Civil War Substitutes

Location: Bicentennial Park, State St. and West St., Princeton, IN

Installed 2015 Indiana Historical Bureau and the City of Princeton

ID#: 26.2015.1

Text

Side one:

By 1862, the Union Army’s need for new recruits could no longer be met by volunteers; in March 1863, U.S. Congress passed the Enrollment Act authorizing a national draft. Drafted or enrolled men of means could hire substitutes to serve in their stead. Many substitutes were African Americans fleeing war or slavery and seeking a source of income and citizenship.

Side two:

Indiana did not meet July 1864 troop quota. For December troop call, over 1,200 Hoosiers obtained substitutes; nine southern-born African Americans joined 8th Regiment U.S. Colored Infantry as substitutes for white Gibson County men. The 8th Regiment, part of African American 25th Corps, took part in campaign leading to Lee’s surrender and war’s end, April 1865.

Annotated Text

Side One:


By 1862, the Union Army’s need for new recruits could no longer be met by volunteers;[1] in March 1863, U.S. Congress passed the Enrollment Act authorizing a national draft.[2] Drafted or enrolled men of means could hire substitutes to serve in their stead.[3]  Many substitutes were African Americans fleeing war or slavery and seeking a source of income and citizenship.[4]


Side Two:
 

Indiana did not meet July 1864 troop quota.[5] For December troop call, over 1,200 Hoosiers obtained substitutes;[6] nine southern-born African Americans joined 8th Regiment U.S. Colored Infantry as substitutes for white Gibson County men.[7] The 8th Regiment, part of African American 25th Corps, took part in campaign leading to Lee’s surrender and war’s end, April 1865.[8]

 

 

The [Indianapolis] Daily State Sentinel and The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, accessed at Hoosier State Chronicles.

 

[1] Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation on State Militia, April 15, 1861, Series 1, General Correspondence, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, accessed U.S. Senate Historical Office; Letter, C.P. Buckingham to Oliver P. Morton, August 9, 1862, Correspondence, Orders, etc., from April 1, 1862, to December 31, 1862, U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies Series 3, Vol. 2, (Washington D.C.: General Printing Office, 1899): 338-39, 471, 485, 491, 495, accessed Making of America; “Drafting,” The [Indianapolis] Daily State Sentinel, July 17, 1862, 3; “The News Locally,” The [Indianapolis] Daily State Sentinel, July 17, 1862, 3; “A Draft Threatened,” Evansville [Ind.] Weekly Gazette, July 19, 1862, 3; “From Washington,” The [Indianapolis] Daily State Sentinel, July 19, 1862, 2; “The Call Upon Indiana,” The [Indianapolis] Daily State Sentinel, July 21, 1862, 2; W.H.H. Terrell, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana vol. 1 (Indianapolis: Alexander H. Conner, 1869)1:17-18, 40-42, 95-96, 143-61, accessed Archive.org; Charles E. Canup, “Conscription and Draft in Indiana During the Civil War,” Indiana Magazine of History, 10 no. 2 (June 1914): 205-06, accessed Indiana Magazine of History Online Resources; Emma Lou Thornbrough, Indiana in the Civil War Era, 1850-1880 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau and Indiana Historical Society, 1965), 100, 105-06, 111-14, 119-21, 131-32, 192; James W. Geary,  We Need Men: The Union Draft in the Civil War (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1991), 3, 7-11, 32-36; Richard F. Nation and Stephen E. Towne, eds., Indiana’s War, The Civil War in Documents (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2009): 43-44, 59; Bruce Catton, The Civil War (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004 edition), 19, 26, 57, 61, 67, 85, 93; Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2010), 205;  William A. Dobak, Freedom by the Sword: The U.S. Colored Troops, 1862-1867 (Washington, DC: Center of Military History, U.S. Army, 2011), 7, accessed U.S. Army Center of Military History.

                On April 15, 1861, three days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln drafted a proclamation to “call forth the militia of the several states . . . to the aggregate number of seventy-five thousand, in order to suppress the rebellion.” Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton called upon Hoosiers to show their patriotism; and many Hoosiers initially supported Lincoln’s efforts. Historians Richard Nation and Stephen Towne report that by the end of 1861, more than 50,000 Indiana men had enlisted in state militia regiments “to preserve the Union.”

                In April 1862, in the wake of some Union army successes, U.S. Secretary of War Edward Stanton halted the states’ volunteer recruitments. However, not long afterward, Union General George B. McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign to seize the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia failed; McClellan’s Army of the Potomac suffered terrible losses and was forced by General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia to retreat to Washington, D.C. Though more than 700,000 volunteers had responded to Lincoln’s call, by late June 1862, only 432,609 officers and men remained on duty in the Union army.

                 On July 2, 1862, the President called for 300,000 additional troops. The [Indianapolis] Daily State Sentinel (Indiana’s Democratic party newspaper) reported July 17, 1862: “The hearts of our people are for the vigorous prosecution of the war.” The pace of enlistments in the North had slowed considerably. Historians have suggested several reasons for the slowdown:  the poor showing of northern forces on the battlefield; reports from soldiers about late pay and dreadful living conditions; and disloyal citizens and desertions. Even the approaching harvest and higher wages paid in war-related industries inhibited enlistments.

                 A few days later, the Daily State Sentinel described the scene: “In all parts of the State earnest efforts are being made to promptly respond to the call upon Indiana for her quota of the new levy. . . . Public meetings are being held, patriotic speeches made and liberal contributions offered to further the object.” In a speech published in the July 19, 1862 Evansville Weekly Gazette, Indiana Governor Morton lamented the excuses offered by some Hoosiers for not enlisting. “The army must be filled . . . . If voluntary enlistments failed, conscription must be resorted to.” Morton and other northern governors called on President Lincoln, the War Department, and the U.S. Congress to re-examine the Union war policy. Indiana’s quota of 21,250 for the July 1862 call for troops was still unfilled when, on August 4, Secretary of War Stanton issued a new call for 300,000 more soldiers.

                On July 18, 1862, a rebel guerrilla band from Kentucky raided Newburgh, in Warrick County on Indiana’s southern border and news of the march of Confederate armies under Generals Braxton Bragg and Kirby Smith, August  1862, toward Kentucky raised fears for the safety of the whole Hoosier state and invigorated the state’s pace of volunteer enlistments.  By September 20, 1862, the quotas had been filled except for 6,060 men; and by October 6, 1862, a state militia draft called only 3,003 men to service. Later examination of Indiana’s enlistment records showed that, in fact, Hoosiers had exceeded their total quota by over 8,000 men; poor record-keeping was responsible.

 

[2] Letter, Governors of States of the Union to A. Lincoln, June 28, 1862, Correspondence, Orders, etc., from April 1, 1862, to December 31, 1862, U.S. War Department, Official Records, Series 3, Vol. 2, 180; The Militia Act of 1862, U.S., Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States of America, vol. 12 (Boston, 1863), pp. 597–600 accessed Freedmen & Southern Society Project; Second Confiscation Act, U.S., Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States of America, vol. 12 (Boston, 1863), pp. 589–92 accessed Freedmen & Southern Society Project; “Drafting,” The [Indianapolis] Daily State Sentinel, July 17, 1862, 3; The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863 accessed National Archives and Records Administration; “An Act for enrolling and calling out the national Forces, and for other Purposes,” March 3, 1863, Congressional Record, 37th Congress, Third Session, Ch. 74, 75,  accessed Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition; Terrell, Report of Adjutant General, 1:45-46, 55-66; Thornbrough, Civil War, 131,136; Geary, We Need Men, xiii, xv, 11, 22-23, 27-29, 33, 68, 73; Nation and Towne, Indiana’s War, 104-24; Foner, Fiery Trial, 175, 209, 214-16; John David Smith, Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2013), 2.

 

                The slow progress of the war demonstrated to both Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Congress that the rebellion could not be put down without a more aggressive war policy. The U.S. Congress responded to the stymied war efforts by passing two acts designed to provide more soldiers to Union armies: the Militia Act and the 2nd Confiscation Act. President Lincoln signed both into law on July 17, 1862. The Militia Act required all male citizens, 18 to 45 years of age to enroll in their respective states in preparation for a militia draft; it authorized Lincoln to call these state militia forces into U.S. service when necessary for as long as nine months.  Indiana’s October 6, 1862 draft resulted from this law. The Daily State Sentinel described the law thusly:

 

this bill provides that all who are drafted under it, without reference to lineage, color, wealth or position will be compelled to serve in the army. This places the white man and the negro, and the poor man and the rich upon terms of perfect equality. Under it, in contradistinction to the practice heretofore, the wealthy man, because he is rich, can have a substitute, and on account of his money, force the poor man exclusively to fight the battles of the country.

 

                The 2nd Confiscation Act declared free all rebel slaves who escaped to Union lines and it forbade Union officers from returning slaves to their rebel owners. Congress authorized the President to employ these freedmen and women as laborers for the northern armies. Again, The State Sentinel opined: 

 

We regret to say that Congress has passed the confiscation bill with a provision in it authorizing the freeing and arming of such negroes as come into the possession of the authorities of the Federal Government. We much fear that the passage of this bill will have a bad effect upon the Union men of the South.

 

                Lincoln’s formal Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863 decreed that all persons held as slaves within a state in rebellion against the U.S. were freed, thus depriving the South of the labor of more than 80,000 persons.  Lincoln stated in the Proclamation that it was “to be an act of justice, warranted by the constitution, upon military necessity.” The Proclamation also declared that those freed people would “be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.”

                Congress also engaged in a debate about the need for a national draft. The Enrollment Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Lincoln on March 3, 1863. It established the Office of the Provost Marshal General and a federal bureau to coordinate the first nationwide enrollment of American male citizens. The law required that the President appoint a District Provost Marshal and Enrollment Board for each U.S. Congressional District in the North—185 districts altogether. The local offices in every district were responsible for enrolling male residents, conducting medical examinations, enlisting the men, and moving the recruits to the general rendezvous, Camp Sullivan, in Indianapolis; they were also responsible for arresting deserters and spies. Acting Assistant Provost Marshals General were appointed in each state to oversee operations.

                The Enrollment Act declared:

 

That all able-bodied male citizens of the United States and persons of foreign birth who shall have declared on oath their intention to become citizens . . . between the ages of twenty and forty-five years  . . . are hereby declared to constitute the national forces, and shall be liable to perform military duty in the service of the United States when called out by the President for that purpose.

 

Congress also hoped to promote re-enlistment of veteran soldiers and included a section of the Enrollment Act which offered federal bounties as enticements.

 

[3] “Board of Commissioners of Vanderburgh County,” Evansville [Ind.] Weekly Gazette, August 2, 1862, 3 accessed Indiana State Library microfilm; “An Act for enrolling and calling out the national Forces,” accessed Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition; “Our streets were crowded,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, October 1, 1864, 3; “Bounty Jumpers,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, December 19, 1864, 1; “Execution of the Bounty Jumpers,” Princeton [Ind.] Union Clarion, December 29, 1864, 3 accessed Indiana State Library microfilm; “The Draft,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, January 2, 1865, 1; “The Draft,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal,  January 6, 1865, 2;  “The Bounty Fund,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, January 19, 1865, 2; “City News,” Evansville [Ind.] Weekly Gazette, January 19, 1865, 2; “The Approaching Draft,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, February 3, 1865, 2; “The Owen County Journal,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, February 3, 1865, 3; “Laws of Indiana.” The [Indianapolis] Daily State Sentinel, March 4, 1865, 2; Table No. 6, Recapitulations, Draft of July 1863, Correspondence, Orders, etc., from May 1865 to the End, Official Records, Series 3, Vol. 5, 730, accessed Making of America; Terrell, Report of Adjutant General, 1:17, 18, 47-53, 61, 63-65, also Statistics and Documents, No. 8, “. . . Amounts Expended for Local Bounties, For Relief of Soldiers’ Families,” 75-88, No. 30, “Quotas Under Call of October 17, 1863 for 300,000 Men”, 192, No. 63, “Military Expenditures by Counties, Cities, and Towns, An Act to legalize the issuing of bonds,” 262-63, accessed Archive.org; Canup, “Conscription,” 208-09; James Barnett, “Bounty Jumpers of Indiana,” Civil War History 4, no. 4 (December 1958): 429-36, accessed Project Muse; Thornbrough, Civil War, 132-37, 139-41; James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 603; Geary, We Need Men, 67, 75, 131, 144, 146, 157; Tyler Anbinder, “Which Poor Man’s Fight? Immigrants and the Federal Conscription of 1863,” Civil War History 52 no. 4 (December 2006): 354, 368, 370, accessed Proquest Central.

                 The 1863 Enrollment Act repealed the earlier ban on obtaining substitutes to serve in place of those not wanting to fight in the northern army. The Act authorized “any person to furnish an acceptable substitute to take his place.” The Act limited the amount paid to a substitute to $300. Also, conscientious objectors could pay a $300.00 commutation fee to avoid service. The $300 cap was intended to keep the price of substitutes within the means of many drafted men. According to historian Tyler Anbinder, three-quarters of the drafted men in the North in 1863 hired substitutes. Governor Morton, laborers, and others criticized this clause of the Enrollment Act as an attempt to protect the wealthy by hiring the poor to fight the war.

                Indiana filled its 1863 national quotas with volunteers. However, the results of the 1863 national draft demonstrate the serious problems faced by the Union army in obtaining more soldiers. Historian James W. Geary’s research shows that there were 292,441 names drawn in the 1863 draft; 190,000 were exempted for disability or hardship; several others deserted. Of the 88,171 men who were drafted, over 52,000 paid the $300 commutation fee and 26,000 furnished substitutes. Only 9,881 of the men whose names were drawn actually joined the U.S. Army.

                A February 1864 amendment to the Enrollment Act allowed enrolled men to obtain substitutes before being drafted. The pool of available substitutes was larger before a draft. Amid continuing criticism, Congress repealed the $300 commutation fee in July 1864. The substitute clause remained though and Geary described the replacement process, stating: “By end of the war providing substitutes had become commercial process complete with advertising, agents, brokerages, complex financial negotiations, and exchanges of large sums of money.” Brokers advertised in newspapers promising to find substitutes for anyone with enough money.

                Some cities and towns, hoping to avoid a draft (and the charge of being unpatriotic), offered bounties to encourage enlistment. The Evansville [Ind.] Weekly Gazette reported on August 2, 1862 that the Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners voted to offer a $50 bounty “to each volunteer entering the service of the United States for three years or during the war, in a company of infantry, to be raised in Vanderburgh county. . . .”  By late 1864, Vanderburgh County gave men liable to the draft the opportunity to pay $30 into a fund with the County Auditor. (See “City News,” Evansville [Ind.] Weekly Gazette, January 19, 1865, 2) According to the Gazette, those paying into this fund would “secure one of two prizes: first, immunity from the draft, or if drafted, they secure a bounty of five hundred or eight hundred dollars.” In some locations, men who did not want to join the fight formed private organizations where membership fees helped to pay for substitutes if members were drafted.

                As the war came to a close, some counties, townships, and towns were forced to consider how to pay for all the bounties offered. Many entities issued bonds without any legal authority to do so. In March 1865, the Indiana General Assembly passed “An Act to legalize the issuing of bonds, and making appropriations, and the levy and assessment for taxes in certain cases.”

                Not all Indiana counties and communities embraced the bounty system. The February 3, 1865 Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal reported:

 

The Owen County Journal says the draft meeting recently held in that county was largely attended, people being present from most, if not all, the townships. Nothing was done, however, except to vote down the proposition for the county to appropriate a bounty. The opposition, we are informed, came chiefly from men not liable to the draft.

 

                As the pool of available substitutes dwindled and the cost of obtaining a replacement increased, the potential for fraud also grew. The District Provost Marshal reported in the Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, January 6, 1865 of the tendencies of substitute brokers

 

. . . to cheat, swindle and defraud both the principal and the substitute, without producing any advantage whatever. . . it is, therefore, ordered that hereafter every substitute, upon being mustered in, shall be accompanied by his principal, that the whole of the money shall be paid to the substitute in the presence of the Board. . .

 

                As the dollar amount of bounties grew, some substitutes traveled around to enlist at higher paying locations; some enlisted in several different locations.  The Evansville Daily Journal reported on December 19, 1864 that “We learn that the last draft has failed to secure the men called for by the President, because their places were supplied by substitutes, who, as soon as they received the bounty, deserted.” The Princeton [Ind.] Union Clarion reported shortly thereafter on December 29, 1864 that four men were executed at Camp Burnside in Indianapolis for bounty-jumping and desertion. According to the same article “Some thirty bounty-jumpers, now in custody were brought up under guard and made to witness the miserable fate of their fellow criminals.”

               

[4] Frederick Douglass, “How to End the War, Douglass Monthly, May 1861 accessed Primary Sources: Workshops in American History, Annenberg Learner; “From Washington,” Indianapolis [Ind.] Daily Sentinel, July 19, 1862, p. 2; “The Want of the Hour,” Evansville [Ind.] Weekly Gazette, August 2, 1862, p. 2 accessed ISL microfilm; Princeton [Ind.] Clarion, February 14, 1863, accessed Indiana State Library microfilm; U.S. Department of War, General Order No. 143, May 22, 1863, Orders and Circulars, 1797-1910, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office 1780-1917, Record Group 94, National Archives, accessed OurDocuments.gov; Samuel Smothers, Students’ Repository 1 (1863-1864): 24, 81 in Thornbrough, The Negro in Indiana (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau: 1957), 183; “Important Notice,” The Evansville Daily Journal, August 4, 1864, 3;  “General Order No. 21,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, September 3, 1864, 2; “Harmonized on the Negro,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, September 20, 1864, 2; Terrell, Report of Adjutant General, 7:660-92; Thornbrough, The Negro in Indiana 183, 187-205; Thornbrough, Indiana in the Civil War, 137-139, 195; V. Jacque Voegeli, Free but Not Equal: The Midwest and the Negro during the Civil War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), 5-7, 36, 95-103; Geary, We Need Men, 30, 68, 78-86, 111; Darrel E. Bigham, On Jordan’s Banks (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006), 65-66, 81-88, 95-99; Foner, Fiery Trial, 208; Joseph P. Reidy, “The African American Struggle for Citizenship Rights in the Northern United States During the Civil War,” in Civil War Citizens, Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in America’s Bloodiest Conflict, ed. Susannah J. Ural, (New York: New York University Press, 2010), 213-15; Brian Taylor, “A Politics of Service: Black Northerners’ Debates over Enlistment in the American Civil War,” Civil War History 58 no. 4 (December 2012): 452-56 accessed at Project Muse; Smith, Lincoln and U.S. Colored Troops, 2, 4, 7, 19-21, 47, 74-75, 113.

                Shortly after the Civil War began, Frederick Douglass used his abolitionist newspaper, the Douglass Monthly, to call on President Lincoln to “Let the slaves and free colored people be called into service, and formed into a liberating army.” At that time, a 1792 Federal law remained in place that prohibited blacks from serving in state militias and the U.S. Army.

                The idea to arm blacks to serve in the Union army was repugnant to most Democrats and many Republicans. In The Negro in Indiana (page 193), the author offers the sentiments of Indiana Democrat Thomas A. Hendricks who expressed dismay that the U.S. Army needed to enlist blacks to defend the Union, opining “What General would go into battle trusting to black regiments for his strength? And what regiment, made up of the proud men of Indiana, would stand in a battle, where they must lean for support upon armed negroes.”

                Over time public opinion changed about the need for black soldiers though racist attitudes frequently prevailed. The threat of a national draft prompted white citizens to think more positively about arming blacks to fill state troop quotas. And according to historian Eric Foner, the public demand for a more aggressive plan to end the war “broke the log-jam on the use of black troops and the confiscation of Confederate property, and Lincoln made the decision for emancipation.”

                By the summer of 1863, the numbers of African-American men enlisting in the United States Colored Troops were so great that the War Department established a Bureau of Colored Troops to organize and manage the formation, training, and command of the new soldiers. Some black recruits enlisted to provide for their families. Many African Americans saw the Civil War as a means of attaining full citizenship. Black educator, Samuel Smothers of the Union Literary Institute in Randolph County Indiana, called on northern black men to join the Union army:

 For thirty years we have been lecturing, talking and praying for the liberation of our enslaved brethren. . . . Our liberties, our interests and our happiness, in common with other citizens depends on the fate of this government. If the government stands, our liberties are secure; if the government fails, we will be doomed to life-long bondage and chains. . . . To fight in defence [sic] of the government will confer lasting honor upon us and our posterity and secure for us the respect and admiration of your white fellow-citizens.

 

                Historian Joseph Reidy suggests that many African Americans “expected—indeed, demanded—the government to reward this loyalty by granting full and unqualified citizenship to black men and appropriate rights, privileges, and protections to all African Americans.” Blacks and their supporters worked during and after the war to attain these results.

                Beginning in 1862, growing numbers of black men, women, and families escaping slavery and the war migrated across the Ohio River into southern Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. The towns along the river became prime locations for eastern recruiters looking for new soldiers for African American regiments. In Evansville, for example, historian Darryl Bigham’s research shows that as many as 800 black men enlisted in U.S. Colored Troops (USCT); enlistment records confirm that many of these enlistees were from southern states. Some northerners, including some Hoosiers, did not welcome this population growth. For more information about violence against African Americans in Indiana river towns, see New Albany, Indiana State Historical Marker, Mob Violence 1862.

                In Indiana, by the end of the war, the Adjutant General’s records show that 1,537 black men had enlisted in various regiments of the USCT. The records also indicate that many of these men served as substitutes for white Hoosiers who wanted to avoid the federal draft in 1864. By August 1864, the Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal reported:

 

The substitute business has been quite brisk for some time in this city, as high as $550 has been paid for able-bodied sable sons of Africa. Several of our conservative brethren have availed themselves of this method of escaping Uncle Sam’s lottery, their objections to the employment of negro troops notwithstanding.

 

                As noted in footnote 1, records providing information about state quotas and the numbers of northern men who were drafted or served as substitutes are contradictory. Historian James W. Geary, author of We Need Men, devotes an entire chapter to “Quotas and Other Numbers.” He concludes that “Little is known about the number of substitutes who entered the army prior to 1863, but 118,010 went as replacements for drafted men from 1863 to 1865. They represented 9.35 percent of the new soldiers in those final years.” IHB staff has not located research providing the number of African American substitutes who served in the Union army.

                For information about the black regiment organized and trained in Indianapolis, see 28th Regiment USCT State Historical Marker. For more information about African Americans and U.S. citizenship, see Christian G. Samito, Becoming American Under Fire: Irish Americans, African Americans and the Politics of Citizenship During the Civil War Era (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011), 217-220.

 

[5] “To the Democracy of Indiana,” Princeton [Ind.] Clarion, February 14, 1863, 2, accessed ISL microfilm; “A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America,” The Evansville [Ind.] Daily Journal, July 19, 1864, 2; Terrell, Report of the Adjutant General, 1:47-48, 65-69, 228-314, also Statistics and Documents, No. 32, “Statement of Results of the Draft under the Call of July 18, 1864 for 500,000 Men, State of Indiana,” 214, No. 33, “Statement of the Account between the State of Indiana and the United States under the call of July 18,1864, for Five hundred thousand men,” 215; Canup, Conscription, 211-12; Kenneth M. Stampp, Indiana Politics During the Civil War (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1949), 144, 213-14, 259; Thornbrough, Indiana in the Civil War, 120-23, 131-32, 204-07; G. R. Tredway, Democratic Opposition to the Lincoln Administration in Indiana (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1973), 13-16; Geary, We Need Men, 40, 44, 105; Nation and Towne, Indiana’s War, 43-45, 125-145, 155-56, 168-69; James H. Madison, Hoosiers: A New History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press: 2014), 156-59; Stephen E. Towne, Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War, Exposing Confederate Conspiracies in America’s Heartland (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2015), 38-60, 63-65, 103-108;

 

                Though most Hoosiers continued to support the Union cause, the early patriotic partisan compromise to “save the Union” gave way to vicious criticism of Lincoln, Republicans, and the war policy. Northern military defeats, increasing calls for more soldiers, compulsory 1862 state draft enrollment and service, Lincoln’s announcement of the January 1 emancipation of slaves (announced September 22), and his suspension of habeas corpus (September 24, 1862) combined to elect Indiana Democrats to most of the state and Congressional offices in the fall of 1862 except for Republican Governor Oliver P. Morton.

                Opposition to the war continued to grow. In December 1862, military authorities arrested almost 400 army deserters each week; in January 1863, armed men shot at military troops attempting to arrest deserters; and in April two separate political meetings ended in gunfire and death. Resistance to the draft resulted in murder and assault of several Indiana draft enrollment officers. Historian Stephen Towne provides ample evidence of an opposition plan to establish a “Northwest Confederacy” or to promote the outbreak of a civil war in Indiana. Colonel Henry B. Carrington warned the U.S. War Department that the anti-war activity in Indiana “borders on open resistance to federal authority.”

                The federal military authorities banned sales of arms and ammunition to civilians in the Department of Ohio, which included Indiana. General Ambrose Burnside issued a General Order threatening the arrest of anyone who publicly spoke or published encouragement to resist the June 1863 draft enrollment or would give aid to deserters. The military command also established detective agencies in the states of the Old Northwest to infiltrate organized opposition groups.

                Despite the heated confrontations and name-calling, Hoosier volunteers continued to meet troop quotas through the remainder of 1863 and into early 1864.  Not until President Lincoln’s July 18, 1864 call for 500,000 more soldiers did the state finally face a federal draft. Governor Morton dispatched officials around the state to encourage more enlistments. He offered $6 to recruiters for every enlisted volunteer. Indiana’s quota was just over 25,000 men. Enlistment was sluggish; and 33,968 names were drawn when the draft was finally held in the September 1864.  Over 21,000 of the Indiana draftees were exempted for medical or other reasons or they simply failed to report.  Almost 12,500 men were drafted; 4,466 of these men sent substitutes to take their places.

                The history of the opposition in Indiana to the Civil War is long and complex—well beyond the scope of this marker project. Historian Stephen Towne’s 2015 book, Surveillance and Spies, offers an extensive and well-researched examination of that opposition in Indiana and neighboring states.

 

[6]  Canup, Conscription, 211; Terrell, Report of the Adjutant General, 1:48-49, 53-56, 67-69, 83, 106, also Statistics and Documents, No. 32, “Statement of Results of the Draft under the Call of July 18, 1864 for 500,000 Men, State of Indiana,” 214, No. 33, “Statement of the Account between the State of Indiana and the United States under the call of July 18,1864, for Five hundred thousand men,” 215, No. 35, Statement of Results of the Draft under the Call of December 19, 1864 for 300,000 Men, State of Indiana,” 237, No. 36, “Statement of the Account between the State of Indiana and the United States under the call of December 19, 1864,” 238.

 

                Many people thought that the July 1864 call would be the last call for troops but the actual number of soldiers obtained by the draft was so low that the U.S. military determined a supplemental draft was needed. Indiana Adjutant General W.H.H. Terrell reported on the December 19, 1864 call for 300,000 men:

Under this call the most extravagant rates of bounty prevailed. The desire to escape the draft was so great that in many localities all other considerations were forgotten. The necessity for able-bodied men to reinforce the army was overlooked by the masses and every device was employed to get men enlisted and credited, many of whom were entirely unfit for the service, and who, if accepted, had to be discharged without performing any duty.

 

                For the December troop call, Indiana’s quota of 22,582 was filled mostly by volunteer enlistments. However, the Adjutant General reported 1,351 drafted men; 342 drafted men paid commutations. More than 1,200 substitutes enlisted. Drafted men obtained 731 substitutes; enrolled men provided 521 additional substitutes. According to Terrell, Indiana furnished 208,367 men to the Union Army during the Civil War; 17,903 men were drafted; 5,197 draftees obtained substitutes.

                For more information about Indiana soldiers in the Civil War, see Indiana's Civil War 150th Commemoration - 2011-2015.

 

[7] Terrell, Report of Adjutant General, 1: Statistics and Documents, No. 8, “. . . Amounts Expended for Local Bounties, For Relief of Soldiers’ Families,” 75-88, No. 31, “Final Statement of Quotas and Credits in Indiana under Calls of February 1, March 14, and July 18, 1864 . . . as of December 31, 1864,” No. 34, “Final Statement of Quotas and Credits in Indiana under Call of December 19, 1864 . . . as of 14th of April 1865;” Jas T. Tartt & Co., History of Gibson County Indiana (Edwardsville, Ill.: 1884), 135; Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: Infantry Organizations, 8th through 13th, including the 11th (new), Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives; Nation and Towne, Indiana’s War, 156; “Mr. Alfred Mauck,” Princeton [Ind.] Union Clarion, January 26, 1865, 3 accessed ISL microfilm; Ancestry.com. 1850, 1860, 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

 

                Gibson County is located in southwestern Indiana; Princeton was, and is today, the county seat. In 1860, the population of the county was 14,532 including 384 African Americans.

                At the first enrollment for the federal draft, the Indiana Adjutant General reported 1,977 Gibson County males between the ages of 20 and 45 as eligible for the draft. The county met its quotas for troops through July 1864 with volunteer enlistments of new recruits and re-enlisted veterans, ending with a surplus. A second enrollment was completed before the December 19, 1864 call; this time 1,753 men were eligible for the draft. Again, the county quota was surpassed with volunteer enlistments including substitutes and a few draftees. By the end of the war, Gibson County paid $104,014.15 in bounties to encourage enlistments; the county also paid $31,635.51 in relief to families.

                An 1880 Gibson County history lists nine “Recruits” who served in the 8th Regiment, United States Colored Troops. These nine men helped Gibson County meet its troop quotas for July and December 1864.

                IHB research has not produced any primary or secondary sources that link any of the men to residence in Gibson County. However, the nine men’s enlistment papers record that each one of them enlisted as a substitute for a named Gibson Co. man. These same records provide the information about the nine black men used in this report.

                 All nine of the men enlisted at Evansville, Indiana, the location of the District Provost Marshal’s office and recruiting center for Indiana’s First Congressional District. One man enlisted in September 1864; the others enlisted in January 1865. Their birthplaces were listed as Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Their ages ranged from 19 to 38; most were farmers although the jobs of cook, boatman, and servant were also listed. Only two of the men described themselves as “free;” the remaining recruits did not list a status. All enlisted for three years.

                IHB staff located primary sources confirming eight of the nine white Gibson County residents for whom the substitutes enlisted. The men were members of established Gibson County families. U.S. Federal Census records for the years 1850, 1860, and 1870 list them employed as farmers and merchants. The Princeton [Ind.] Union Clarion, January 26, 1865, commented about two Gibson County residents who obtained substitutes: “Mr. Alfred Mauck and Henry Ayres have both obtained substitutes. Mauck gave a ‘cullud pusson’ $1000 for 3 years; Ayres gave a white man $700.”

                Some African American residents of Gibson County did serve in the U.S. Colored Troops. That research is beyond the scope of this project but records may be available at Gibson County historical institutions.

                The nine African American men and the Gibson County men for whom they served are listed here: Isaac Barr served for Samuel Mauck; Richard Broadwell for Henry Mauck; Henry Culbertson for Alfred (or Alford) Mauck; James Feedas for William S. Armstrong; Robert H. Lewis for L. P. Forbis; Toby Ricks for F. J. Clark; Cass Thorp for James Montgomery; Jake Walker for H. Mauck; John West for S. W. Mead. The enlistment records of the Recruits also provide the names of the Gibson County residents. The records are available online at Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives. Additionally, U.S. Census records for the years 1850, 1860, 1870 were used to corroborate the enlistment records. Census information is also available online at AncestryLibrary.com which is available free-of-charge at the Indiana State Library. Some local and county libraries may also have access to these databases.

 

[8] Letter, unfinished, Abraham Lincoln to Isaac M. Schemerhorn, September 12, 1864, in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Roy P. Basler et al., eds., vol. 8 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953-1956): 1-2, accessed Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln; “Organization of Troops in the Department of Virginia and North Carolina . . . December 31, 1864,” Operations in Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina, August 1, 1864-December 31, 1864, Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 42 (part III), 1123-26; “Appomattox Campaign,” Twenty-Fifth Army Corps, Reports, Operations in Northern and Southeastern Virginia, January 1- January 31, 1864, Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 46, Part 1, 579-80; “Appomattox Campaign,” No. 255, Report of Colonel Samuel C. Armstrong, Eighth U.S. Colored Troops, April 20, 1865, Reports, Operations in Northern and Southeastern Virginia, North Carolina (January 1-31), West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, January 1-June 30, 1865, Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 46, Part 1, 1237-38; “Organization of Troops in Department of Virginia . . . January 31, 1865,” Union Correspondence, Operations in Northern and Southeastern Virginia, North Carolina (January 1-31), West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, January 1-June 30, 1865, Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 46, Part 2, 334-37; “Organization of Troops in Department of Virginia . . . February 28, 1865,” Union Correspondence, Operations in Northern and Southeastern Virginia, North Carolina (January 1-31), West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, January 1-June 30, 1865, Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 46, Part 2, 747-50; “Organization of troops in Department of Virginia . . . April 30, 1865, Union Correspondence, Operations in Northern and Southeastern Virginia, North Carolina (January 1-31), West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, January 1-June 30, 1865, Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 46, Part 3, 1033-37; Samuel P. Bates, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5 Prepared in Compliance with Acts of the Legislature, Vol. 5 (Harrisburg, Pa., 1871): 965-68, accessed Making of America; Thornbrough, Negro in Indiana, 195; Geary, We Need Men, 29, 30; Donald Scott, “Camp William Penn’s Black Soldiers in Blue,” America’s Civil War, 12 No. 5 (November 1999): 44-50; “Contributions to Union Victory,” in Joseph Glatthaar,  The Civil War’s Black Soldiers, National Park Civil War Series (Eastern National, 2007); Foner, Fiery Trial, 252-53; Dobak, Freedom by the Sword, 414-15, 501-05; Smith, Lincoln and U.S. Colored Troops, 2.

 

                The 8th Regiment United States Colored Troops was organized in Pennsylvania and recruiting began in September 1863. The enlisted men trained at Camp William Penn, the first federal training camp for U.S. Colored Troops, located near Philadelphia. With very little training, the regiment left camp January 16, 1864, heading south to Florida and arriving by early February 1864. At the Battle of Olustee, February 20, Union forces were overpowered. The 8th Regiment suffered heavy losses and the Union forces retreated toward Jacksonville. In August, the brigade was ordered to Virginia.

                As part of the 10th Corps, the 8th Regiment engaged the enemy at New Market Heights on September 29, 1864.  In December 1864, the 8th Regiment was assigned to the 25th Corps, composed of twenty-four black regiments— twenty-three infantry and one cavalry. The 8th Regiment wintered in trenches near Richmond until March 27, 1865. (The January recruits from Indiana arrived at Camp William Penn from Indianapolis on February 23, 1865 and likely joined the 8th Regiment in the field sometime before March 27.)

                For the 8th Regiment, the Appomattox Campaign began on March 27, 1865 with a night march to avoid detection. In his official report, Colonel Samuel C. Armstrong, commander of the regiment, recounted the action on April 1,

“regiments massed for an attack on the defenses of Petersburg. On the morning of the 2d [sic] entered the outer line of works. . . . Massed for an attack on one of the main forts; sent forth Captains Newland and Camp with their companies as skirmishers, who advanced handsomely and close up to the enemy’s works, driving their skirmishers, this under a brisk fire of musketry and shell.”

Armstrong continued, on April 3,

“the line advanced. . . found the enemy’s works abandoned. . . . The Regiment was at once advanced on and into Petersburg receiving a number of deserters and a most cheering and hearty welcome from the colored inhabitants of the city, whom their presence had made free.”

                After General Robert E. Lee’s surrender, the 8th USCT was ordered to Ringgold Barracks on the Rio Grande River in Texas until October 8, 1865 when they headed back to New York City. They mustered out in Philadelphia on December 12, 1865.

                Even before the war was over, Lincoln understood the importance of African American military service to the outcome of the war. In an unfinished letter to Isaac M. Schemerhorn, September 12, 1864, Lincoln wrote:

 

Any different policy in regard to the colored men deprives us of his help, and this is more than we can bear. We can not spare the hundred and forty or fifty thousand now serving us as soldiers, seamen, and laborers. This is not a question of sentiment or taste, but one of physical force. . . . Keep it and you can save the Union. Throw it away, and the Union goes with it.

 

                Historians James Geary and John David Smith state that the total number of black men enlisted in the United States Colored Troops was about 179,000. Smith reports that the USCT were organized:

 

 into 133 infantry regiments, 4 independent companies, 7 cavalry regiments, 12 regiments of heavy artillery, and 10 batteries of light artillery. Roughly 19 percent of the troops came from the eighteen northern states . . . 24 percent from the four Union slave states, and 57 percent from the eleven Confederate states.

 

                And while the sheer numbers of black soldiers were important to the U. S. Army, the service of African Americans accomplished much more. These soldiers’ service changed the racist attitudes of many white soldiers and officers; they helped liberate their southern enslaved brethren; and they helped to fill federal troop quotas. With their contributions, black soldiers earned U.S. citizenship for themselves and their families; and, as Foner notes, they “put the question of post-war rights squarely on the national agenda.”

 

For more information about United States Colored Troops: