Baptists and the American Civil War: July 19, 1863

Civil War States MapDespite the recent draft riots in New York City, the military drafts are now well underway throughout much of the North. Although uppermost in the minds of Northern citizens and often worrisome, conscription proceeds at an orderly pace in most  all instances.

Even Baptist pastors are not exempt, as today’s New York Times reports.

From the Springfield Journal.

MONCURE D. CONWAY, the peripatetic abolition Ambassador in Europe, is among the drafted men in Boston. The question is whether MONCURE will come home and shoulder his musket, down with his $300, or carry out his principle of “withholding supplies from the Government.” We will wait and see.

The draft in Worcester took every Cambridge graduate in the city. Rev. LEMUEL MORSE, of the First Baptist Church, and Rev. Dr. VANBARD, of the Second Baptist Church, were also taken. One grocery-store was completely drained, all the proprietors and clerks being drafted, and all the clerks at the Court-house were similarly honored. The bar-tender, head cook, hostler, one of the waiters, and three boarders from the Bay State House were all drafted.

Many are the expedients to which the draft has given rise. A company has been formed in Boston to furnish substitutes for its members or procure the $300 for exemption, each person paying not less than $10 or more than $20, the precise figure to be determined by coming events. One drafted man procured a substitute by giving him $200 and an insurance on his life for $1,000. If he fails within a year the substitute’s friends are to receive $500, and the other half is to be reserved by the insurer to defray expenses. If he serves his time out and comes home with hoar, the life-insurance policy is to be given to him. In the Fourth Boston district six wards were drawn together, and there is considerable inequality and dissatisfaction. The office of the British Consul at Boston was crowded Saturday with drafted Irish, who claimed protection of the English Government as subjects of that country. A. lady in Cambridge has sent three sons to the war, two of whom have been killed in battle, and the third died from sickness. A fourth son has now been drafted. In Chelsea, the Methodist minister, Rev. Mr. PECK, is taken. A man in Acton, having a presentiment that he would be drafted, took an early train for Boston, enlisted and secured his bounty. His name was the first one drawn.

A man employed in Boston was enrolled there and drafted. He explained that he resided in Chelsea, and was let off, and his name put In the Chelsea box. When the draft was made for that place he was drawn a second time. He thinks that it was fore-ordained that he should go to the war.

More than 1,000 persons, whose names have been published in the papers as having been drafted from Boston, have left for the British provinces.

The draft began at New-Bedford on Monday.Drafting commenced in the First, Second and Third Districts of Maine on Monday.

Brig.-Gen. E. W. HINKS is to have command of the New-Hampshire rendezvous for dratted men at Concord.

The draft for the Third Vermont District began at Burlington on Monday, with 172 men from that place.

The draft has been completed in both districts of Rhode Island. A chap in Providence being told, one day last week, that he was drafted, rushed to a re-recruiting office and enlisted, in order to secure the bounty. He was not a little chagrined to learn, when it was too late, that a joke had been played upon him, that he had not been drafted. In one wholesale grocery establishment in that city all the partners and salesmen have been conscribed, leaving only a colored porter in the store. The conscripts there have the fashion of wearing a red ribbon in the but- [???] Four Newport clergymen are included in the list of conscripts. Gov. SMITH has issued a proclamation urging that cities and towns make provisions for the relief of needy families of drafted men. The Postmaster of Pascoag is one of the officials mooted to exchange the civil for the military service of Uncle Sam.

Brie.-Gen. L. C. HUNT is making preparation at New-Haven for establishing the camp for the Connecticut and Rhode Island conscripts. A bun red soldiers from Fort Trumoull will form the nucleus of the camp, and part of the provost guard.

Yale college is called upon pretty loudly. Eighty students and several tutors and professors had their names on the roll of honor, as the result of Monday’s work.

Based on available military records, the two Baptist pastors mentioned apparently avoid actual service by paying the $300 necessary to secure a substitute.

Source: “Incidents of the Draft,” New York Times, July 19, 1863 (link)