Archiver > BRETHREN > 2008-11 > 1227736733

From: "William Thomas" <>
Subject: Re: [BRE] Brethren & Civil War Service or Evasion?
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 16:58:53 -0500
In-Reply-To: <>

Tom Flory explained the process from a Confederate perspective. The Union
perspective was similar. You paid a fee ($300) or you obtained a
substitute, and that way you avoided the draft. Back then $300 was a lot of
money, so the rich had an easy time of avoiding the draft. Many people
didn't like the draft for non-religious reasons. You have the famous draft
riots in New York City that happened a few days after Gettysburg.
Sappington has a good explanation of the problems related to the draft in
Virginia in his work 'Brethren in the New Nation'. Fellow Brethren helped
raise the needed money to pay the exemption fees for those who couldn't come
up with the cash.

Bill Thomas

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:]
On Behalf Of Carolyn Surine
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2:59 PM
Subject: [BRE] Brethren & Civil War Service or Evasion?

I apologize if this is a second post to you, but I have not gotten it myself
yet after 2 days:

For some time I have wondered how young men were able to avoid serving in
the Civil War when there was so much pressure from one side or the other.
Missouri was a hotbed of warfare and perceived sympathy with the wrong side
might have found the unfortunate party hanging from a tree. What about men
unwilling to join the cause due to religious teachings? Could Brethren stand
on their beliefs, or did they have to move around in order to avoid service?
Surely one's neighbors would know their sentiments, so it seems there would
be little opportunity to "hide." Further, my ancestor was an immigrant
German, although his household spoke English. His sons and his wife's sons
by a previous marriage would have been targeted, I would think, but
apparently none of them was engaged in the conflict.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this topic?

Carolyn Tusing Surine

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