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"A very disagreeable business": confederate conscription in Louisiana.

In October 1862, Robert Carter, a wealthy planter living in Concordia Parish, in the fertile cotton-growing delta along the Mississippi River in northeast Louisiana, faced conscription into the Confederate army. Rather than enter the service, Carter, whose family owned two plantations and 194 slaves, contracted with Frederick W. Scheuber to serve as his substitute. As a German, Scheuber was not subject to Confederate conscription and therefore could serve in someone else's place. Carter possessed both the motives and the means to avoid military service. In addition to wanting to escape the dangers inherent in life in the army, Carter possibly feared both losing control of his slaves and exposing his family to the enemy, especially with the Union army, as part of its attack on Vicksburg, less than fifty miles north of his home. With Carter's wealth exceeding $120,000, his agreement to pay Scheuber $2,500 at the end of the war and to provide Scheuber's wife with $20.83 per month (10 percent per year) until that time would not prove an insurmountable financial burden. Although Scheuber may have needed the money, he did not live to see the end of the war, perishing at Berwick Bay in April 1863, less than one year after signing his contract with Carter. During Scheuber's time of service, Carter paid the money to three of the German's female relatives, but it remains unclear whether he paid the full amount upon Scheuber's death. (1)

The story of men such as Robert Carter and Frederick Scheuber illustrates the dramatic impact of Confederate conscription on Southerners and the effect that variables such as wealth, ethnicity, and the proximity of the Union army played in their decisions regarding the draft. From the beginning of the Civil War, Confederate leaders recognized that fighting a nation with superior manpower necessitated mobilizing as great a percentage of the South's white male population as possible. For the first year of the conflict, the Confederacy relied on one-year volunteers. It became quickly apparent, however, that the army needed more men and that it needed them to fight for more than a single year. Thus, in April 1862, as many of the original volunteers' enlistments were set to expire, the Confederate Congress passed, and President Jefferson Davis signed, a national conscription act. This measure lengthened volunteers' enlistments from one year to the duration of the war and called for a draft of all white men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. (2)

Historians who take aim at Confederate conscription face a moving target. First, Congress modified conscription policy several times, and thus the reactions it engendered changed as well. The age range expanded, and Congress repeatedly altered the exemption policy. Among the most significant of these adjustments were the addition of an exemption for owners of twenty slaves in October 1862 and ending substitution in January 1864. Second, a variety of factors, including wealth, ethnicity, and gender, could shape one's attitude toward the policy and toward those who resisted it. Third, Southerners' impressions of the measure varied based on where they lived, particularly on their family's proximity to the Union army. An area safely within Confederate lines might accept conscription, but if later that home front faced Union occupation or simply lost the protection of the Confederate army, men might be much less willing to leave their families to fight. In order to assess the impact of all of these variables and gain a fuller understanding of conscription, one can focus on the measure's impact on the individual states of the Confederacy. Historians have examined conscription policy in Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere, but no one has made a thorough examination of conscription in Louisiana. (3)

In some respects, conscription in Louisiana paralleled that in other Southern states: Louisiana's governors, both Thomas Overton Moore (1860-64) and his successor Henry Watkins Allen (1864-65), squabbled with the national government in Richmond over state sovereignty; the various draft exemptions caused friction between rich and poor, especially slaveholders and nonslaveholders; and the attitudes of civilians toward the draft demonstrated the conflicting demands of battlefront and the home front. In other aspects, Louisianans experienced the draft differently from other Confederates. From 1862 onward, the Union army occupied key parts of the state, most important New Orleans, the state's largest city, which had no peer elsewhere in the South. Also, Louisiana's significant foreign-born and Cajun populations complicated the conscription process with some of the former group exempt from the provisions of the act and with the latter often having very little attachment to the Confederacy.

On a practical level, the combination of conscription and volunteering clearly mobilized a tremendous percentage of Louisiana's white male population. The numbers, however, do not tell the whole story. The few extant figures are incomplete, and the Union's occupation of various parts of the state complicates the equation. Nonetheless, in enforcing conscription, Confederate officials experienced some success. They formed conscription camps in Monroe, Tangipahoa (Camp Moore), and outside of New Iberia (Camp Pratt). For most of the Civil War, the Confederate command divided Louisiana between two administrative units. The Florida Parishes, the region of the state east of the Mississippi River and north of Lake Pontchartrain, were part of the Department of the Gulf, while the rest of Louisiana was part of the Trans-Mississippi Department. Situated in the latter department, Camp Pratt, two miles north of New Iberia, received the majority of the state's conscripts. (4)

At the end of 1862, Louisiana native General Richard Taylor, emphasizing the army's recruiting success in Louisiana, proclaimed that in northern Louisiana few conscripts could be found with "nearly the whole population between eighteen and thirty-five having volunteered." State officials and state documents buttress the idea that the combination of volunteering and the draft had motivated a substantial number of Louisianans to join the war effort. Partial state records indicate that by the end of 1862 (only eight months after the draft had begun), 8,690 of the approximately 40,000 Louisianans in the armed service were conscripts, and that number reflects only the thirty-eight parishes (out of a total of forty-eight) that reported results. Two years later, in his annual message to the legislature, Governor Moore proclaimed that Louisiana had provided 52,000 troops to the Confederacy, an exceptional number for a partially occupied state whose largest prewar vote total had been 50,511. Local officials in Moore's home parish of Rapides concurred. A Rapides newspaper claimed in 1862 that the parish had answered the call with more than 500 conscripts; the following year it added that "the conscript act means nothing to Rapides," as all the men in the parish had already joined the war effort. (5)

Other accounts, however, conflict with this picture of a united front of adult, white male Louisianans volunteering or accepting conscription as Confederates. In October 1863, future governor Allen offered a very different assessment of the situation in southwest Louisiana. He lamented that "the country here is full of deserters and runaway conscripts.... I am told they number 8,000." Another officer described as many as 1,500 conscripts and deserters hidden in just three of the Florida Parishes, and yet another suggested that the woods of Sabine Parish contained two hundred draft dodgers. Although these reports may have exaggerated the problem, they indicate that parts of the state served as havens for those resisting conscription. Perhaps the mixed message of Assistant Adjutant General S. S. Anderson best demonstrates the difficulty of relying on numbers alone to judge the success of conscription. He reported that "by sending a single company into one of the parishes of Louisiana, 400 conscripts were obtained." Any optimism engendered by that phrase is quickly tempered by his admission that this success occurred only after "shooting four of their number." (6)

In attempting to reconcile these diverse views of conscription's success in Louisiana, one must consider where and when these officials described the process. In When the Yankees Came, Stephen V. Ash creates a useful model for understanding the interaction between Southerners and the Union army. He contends that the occupied South should be seen as three regions: garrisoned towns that faced a constant Union army presence; no-man's-lands, which lay beyond Confederate control but lacked the day-to-day occupation of Union troops; and Confederate frontiers where the Confederacy had authority but which were not immune to Union incursions. Not only does his discussion accurately depict many Louisianans' wartime experiences, but it also proves very helpful in understanding the varied reactions to conscription policies within the Pelican State. Over the course of the Civil War, the area of Louisiana subject to Confederate authority contracted with the northwest migration of the capital from Baton Rouge to Opelousas in 1862 and to Shreveport the following year being a good benchmark of the shrinking of Confederate Louisiana. The precise boundaries of Union occupation varied from month to month, but regardless of the exact location of enemy units, many Louisianans felt that the Confederate government had abdicated its responsibility for their protection, and consequently they resisted conscription into the Confederate army. (7)

In April 1862, the same month that the Confederate Congress passed the first conscription act, the Union army captured New Orleans, which not only served as the state's business center but also contained nearly half of the state's white population. For the rest of the conflict, the Union military, first under Benjamin Butler and later under Nathaniel P. Banks, governed the city. Southern men in the city were beyond the reach of Confederate conscription officers, and its Union-controlled newspapers railed against the conscription process. After securing New Orleans, the Union army occupied other areas of the state, including Baton Rouge and the Bayou Lafourche region, and in both 1863 and 1864 federals invaded up the Red River. Additionally, the Union army's efforts to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi, led to an occupation of northeast Louisiana beginning in 1862. (8)

Therefore, throughout the three years of Confederate conscription, most of Louisiana's draft-eligible men remained in garrisoned towns, no-man's-lands, or on the Confederate frontier. Both General Taylor's assessment and the state's official conscription report for 1862 demonstrate the impact of Union occupation on Confederate conscription. In November 1862 Taylor informed the secretary of war that the parishes where it was "most difficult to execute the conscription law are the river parishes from Carroll down and the Gulf parishes from New Orleans to the Sabine River [the border with Texas]." All of these parishes had either already suffered from or were vulnerable to future Union invasion. According to the state's 1862 annual conscription report, ten of the forty-eight parishes filed no conscription returns with six of these (Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. John) in the immediate vicinity of occupied New Orleans and two others (Madison and Carroll) on the Mississippi River opposite Vicksburg. (9)

Fearing Confederate conscription more than the Union army, some Louisianans fled to garrisoned towns and received Union passports. In Baton Rouge, Mira Cooper, a Confederate loyalist, complained of "white contrabands" who escaped to the enemy's lines to avoid service in the Confederate army. An unrepentant rebel, she considered these men "a step below contempt." A Union soldier based there agreed that both men and women entered in the former capital in order to buy goods and that they willingly took a loyalty oath to do so. This type of escape route, however, was fraught with peril. According to Governor Moore, Louisianans who returned from Union lines and then tried to use either Union passports or evidence of having taken a loyalty oath in order to avoid Confederate conscription would be treated as traitors. Ironically, men who fled into garrisoned regions to avoid Confederate conscription could find themselves subject to the Union draft instead. In the Lafourche region, the Union army required military-age men to take an oath of allegiance in order to avoid arrest and to keep their property. Many took this oath out of convenience rather than sincerity. Starting in 1863, the U.S. army began to draft these ostensibly "loyal" citizens, and in response an "underground railroad" emerged to help these men escape to Confederate lines. (10)

The U.S. army controlled the press in New Orleans, and its propaganda machine, particularly New Orleans newspapers, repeatedly reminded Southerners of the internal conflicts caused by conscription. The New Orleans Daily Picayune proudly presented a story on disgruntled Cajun conscripts cowardly fleeing from the field at an October 1862 battle in Labadieville, and the Era, in an article entitled "Rebel Barbarity in St. Tammany," described destitute relatives of conscripts being driven away from the doors of their wealthy, exempt neighbors. Up the Mississippi River, the Natchez Courier gleefully proclaimed that Louisianans welcomed the Union army and "were willing to give all the information in their power, and say they will not be conscribed into the rebel army." Harper's Weekly praised Louisianans' brave resistance to conscription and quoted an alleged Confederate circular stating that all men resisting Confederate operations "must be executed on the spot." (11)

The best example of this type of propaganda came from the pen of Alfred C. Hills, the editor of the Era. Considering ridicule the best weapon in his arsenal, he wrote a series of essays later published as MacPherson, The Confederate Philosopher. The satirical novel cleverly mocks and exaggerates almost all aspects of the draft from the age range (in the novel, from ten to one hundred years of age) to the conflict between rich and poor (one can pay $1,000 to be exempt) to the changes in policy (after five hundred men pay the $1000 fee, the rule is rescinded and they are enrolled). Perhaps most revealing is a scene where a sixty-year-old man is found hiding in the woods. When conscript officers catch him, his wife pleads that she and her son will starve without his presence. The officer responds that all men who are "not willing to leave wife, and children behind him to starve to death, for the sake of Southern independence ... the same is a Yankee, and shall suffer death." Following this announcement, the conscript hunters hang the man, but as "an act of mercy" permit his family to watch. (12)

In areas outside the garrisoned towns, there existed a no-man's-land that was beyond the reach of Confederate government but did not face the constant presence of a federal force. In Louisiana, the parishes along the Mississippi River and the Lafourche region west of New Orleans best fit this description. In St. James Parish, which straddled the Mississippi River just upriver from New Orleans, a militia officer claimed that "we are as completely under the control of the Federal forces as the City itself ... We are prisoners in every sense of the term." Despite this assertion, these areas did not have the same daily presence of federal officials that garrisoned towns possessed. But while not completely under Union control, the areas were not under Confederate control either. The same letter frankly informed a Confederate officer that "orders ... cannot be executed in our part of the country." Bowing to the inevitable, Governor Moore agreed not to call for troops from parishes in this no-man's-land. (13)

The Mississippi River parishes opposite Vicksburg--Carroll, Madison, Tensas, and Concordia--and the tier of parishes immediately to their west--Morehouse, Franklin, and Catahoula--constituted another significant no-man's-land in Louisiana. The correspondence to and from Lt. Col. George W. Logan, the commander of the second Louisiana battalion of Heavy Artillery based in this region, demonstrates the difficulties of conscripting men in an area not under Confederate control. An enrolling officer highlighted the lawlessness of the region by asserting that its supply of conscript-eligible men included only armed deserters, desperadoes, Yankee scouts, spies, and traitors. In Morehouse Parish, an officer complained that conscripts "cannot be had without the assistance of cavalry as they are hid in the woods," and another frustrated officer sounded as if he was chasing ghosts in carping, "How I get to see them is what baffles me." Potential conscripts here also fled across the Mississippi River into Union lines to avoid conscription. Yet, men in this no-man's-land realized that they did not need to hide or flee to avoid the draft. An officer asserted that the men of Concordia Parish "will not go until compelled," and these men were apparently aware that this officer lacked the means to compel them. Another officer considered it "dangerous to go to Concordia Parish," though his letter did not make it clear if that danger came from recusant conscripts or from Union soldiers. (14)

Conscription in Catahoula Parish, a rare pocket of rural Louisiana Unionism, proved especially difficult. Its parish seat, Harrisonburg possessed the Harrisonburg Independent, the only country newspaper that had spoken out against secession in the aftermath of the state's withdrawal from the United States. The paper's editor, James G. Taliaferro had been a delegate at the secession convention, and he authored a protest against its proceedings. This Unionist streak persisted. A conscript officer complained to his superior that "it will take a large force to right this parish. It is completely rotten." Other officers alleged that one Union man tampered with his family record of ages to make it appear that his son was too young for conscription and that a justice of the peace, Dr. Hendry, "is constantly engaged in endeavors to exempt men from the service." Another officer complained of the "open defiance of the Confederate States of America" and advocated severe punishment but added the revealing caveat, "if we can reach [the traitors]." Simply put, draft dodgers could afford such overt resistance in areas not under complete Confederate control. (15)

Beyond the no-man's-land lay the Confederate frontier, the front line between the two armies. On the Confederate frontier, Ash asserts that "the Federals penetrated only sporadically, its citizens at all other times being in the Confederacy's grasp." Southern Louisiana, from the no-man's-land outside New Orleans west to the Texas border, and the Florida Parishes both fit this description. In each of these areas, the Confederates established conscription camps, but in neither area did the Confederate army possess enough strength to protect the citizens from Union incursions. Illustrating this weakness, Gen. Richard Taylor had fewer than ten thousand soldiers (and sometimes closer to five thousand) to protect all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River. The Florida Parishes were attached to a command based in Mississippi that did not consider them a high priority. By the end of 1862, its conscription base, Camp Moore, held only 40l conscripts. In 1863, the camp had only a skeleton staff, and in 1864 it ceased operation. While in 1862 the Florida Parishes could be considered a Confederate frontier, two years later the region had become a guerrilla-infested no-man's-land. In contrast, drawing conscripts from all of the state south of the Red River, Camp Pratt in South Louisiana had more success, housing 6,876 conscripts at the conclusion of 1862 and continuing to operate thereafter. (16)

The presence of conscription camps did not mean that Louisianans on the Confederate frontier embraced conscription. Draft resistance there forced the army to devote valuable resources simply to bring men into its ranks. In November 1862, Gen. Richard Taylor claimed that it was necessary "to scour the country with cavalry" to bring in conscripts and later complained that the detachments only brought in small numbers of men, some of whom had to be "tied and ironed." Hunting conscripts in southwestern Louisiana, William Howell complained that "there is quite a number who have taken to the woods and bottoms." Others concurred with Howell's assessment that Louisiana's terrain provided ample hiding places for draft dodgers. The Galveston Weekly News reported seven hundred to eight hundred conscripts in the swamps of Calcasieu Parish, some fleeing right after the passage of the first conscription laws and some after the passage of an exemption for owners of twenty slaves. (17)

In both the no-man's-land and the Confederate frontier, recusant conscripts often combined with deserters and desperadoes to form Jayhawker bands, which fought against all invaders regardless of whether they wore blue or gray. In Louisiana, the topography facilitated the formation of such bands, particularly the swamps and bayous of the southern part of the state and the piney woods of the Florida Parishes. Partly because of this environment, historian Donald Frazier has described Louisiana as "a near perfect incubator for guerrilla warfare." Guerrillas operating in these areas opposed the Confederacy but did not necessarily identify with the Union. While expressing his concern that "after the late punishment inflicted on the conscripts, [he] consider[ed] it very unsafe for small parties to travel alone," a conscript hunter acknowledged that it was the dodgers' "intention not to fight for either the Federal or Confederate government." Or, as a former slave explained after the war, her master "wasn't in favor of the Confederates or the Yankees ... he was in favor of himself." (18)

Ozeme Carriere led perhaps the most notorious of these Jayhawkers. Based west of Opelousas, his gang gathered recusant conscripts from St. Landry and neighboring parishes, an area whose reputation for lawlessness predated the Civil War. According to historian Carl Brasseaux, the 1862 conscription act turned men in this area from indifference to the Confederacy to animosity and facilitated the formation of Carriere's Jayhawkers in 1863. These Jayhawkers thoroughly frustrated St. Landry's enrolling officer, who, in a letter to General Taylor, summarized the difficulties that they posed to Confederate conscription efforts:
   Until some vigorous measures are taken, the conscription in this
   parish may be said to be suspended, as every man who does not
   desire to report has only to go within the lines of the jayhawkers
   to be perfectly safe from the officers of the law. The few men who
   report declare they will never leave home until some steps are
   taken to afford some security for the lives
   of the defenseless ones they leave behind them.

As this statement implies, Jayhawker bands hampered conscription efforts in two ways. They not only attracted draft dodgers, but by threatening communities and sometimes specifically singling out soldiers' families, they also made other men think twice before accepting conscription and leaving their families at the mercy of these outlaws. Jayhawkers did not, however, embrace Unionism. On the Confederate frontier, draft resisters had the luxury of aligning themselves with neither the Confederates nor the Union. Instead, they fought against oppressive policies regardless of who tried to sustain the measures. Carriere rebuffed an offer to serve in the federal army, and tellingly his Jayhawkers disbanded once Confederate conscription ended. (19)

The violence in Jayhawker-infested areas quickly cycled upward, and according to Frazier, "no one was safe in the war-ravaged parishes." In western Rapides Parish, in addition to shooting all Jayhawkers who resisted, officers were encouraged to "keep them in the swamps, and starve them out if there is no other means of reaching them." In his sensationalist A Thrilling Narrative of the Sufferings of Union Refugees and the Massacre of Martyrs of Liberty of Western Louisiana, Dennis Haynes recounts the barbarous level that this conflict reached on the Confederate frontier where Carriere operated. Written in 1866, Haynes's Unionist account portrays Confederate conscript hunters as merciless murderers. He explains how Oliver Sanders, a poor man with eight children, had openly avowed that he would not fight for the slaves of rich men while they remained at home. According to Haynes, Sanders claimed that if he had to die fighting, he would die at home. Conscript hunters "honored" this request, murdering Sanders on his doorstep. Elsewhere, Haynes describes a scene where soldiers executed both a conscript and a man who warned potential conscripts that the cavalry was out, leaving the two bodies for the vultures. His narrative also highlights the deeds of "Bloody Bob" Martin, a man who indiscriminately murdered recusant conscripts and of "Old Dog" Smith, who used bloodhounds to track down draft dodgers. (20)

Not only did Confederate officials exercise limited control across the violence-marred no-man's-land and Confederate frontier of southern Louisiana, but also the ethnicity of potential conscripts there further exacerbated recruiting problems. This region possessed the state's Acadian or Cajun population, and Confederate authorities repeatedly fretted about their loyalty. By the Civil War, the Cajun population had lived in Louisiana for approximately sixty years. Yet, many Cajuns remained endogamous and identified themselves more with their community than with their state or the Confederacy. In a July 1861 letter to the secretary of war, B. W. Blakewood complained that "a goodly number of our citizens can neither speak nor understand the English language.... Talk to them of our constitutional rights and the sire of the Revolution, they look upon you with astonishment." Carl Brasseaux contends that few Cajuns volunteered in 1861 and that as late as the 1970s their descendants referred to the conflict "as 'la guerre des Confederes,' or Confederates' war ... inferring that the struggle was locally unpopular." Despite their lack of attachment to the Confederacy, no ambiguity existed concerning native-born Cajuns' eligibility for conscription. With the passage of the conscription act, they could no longer remain indifferent to the war. Using their knowledge of the region, however, many Cajuns took to the swamps, dodging conscript officers and joining Jayhawker bands. (21)

Brasseaux estimates that the Confederate army conscripted more than three thousand Cajuns. Nevertheless, getting these men into the army did not ensure that they would fight as Confederates. Most Cajuns trained at Camp Pratt, where one official complained of the "stupid gascon scoundrels," and another bigoted officer expressed his preference for "Paddies" rather than "Creoles." A Union prisoner at Camp Pratt agreed that the "Cajunn [sic] has great power of endurance, but not much stomach for fight," and added that as many as thirty or forty deserted every night and that when recaptured these men were forced to wear the barrel as punishment. Confederate general Mansfield Lovell complained that "there is not the slightest dependence to be placed" in the "miserable, mixed breed" Cajun population. All of these concerns about Cajuns' willingness to fight on behalf of the Confederacy may have had merit, for at the Battle of Labadieville, Cajun conscripts allegedly ran from the field without firing a single shot. (22)

Across the South, along with physical and human geography, political geography, specifically the federal relationship between state governments and the Davis administration in Richmond, underlay attitudes toward conscription. Given the South's long association with the ideology of states' rights, it was almost inevitable that Southerners would challenge conscription along this line of attack. Repeatedly, Louisiana governor Moore spoke up for his state and his constituents. Reflecting the common sentiment that Louisiana, in the words of one officer, "seems to have been forgotten," Moore expressed great concern that the Confederacy had weakened his state by sending more than thirty thousand Louisiana troops to other theaters of the war. In June 1862, Moore wrote a frank letter to President Davis contending that the state's citizens felt "no more men or arms should be spared for distant service" until Louisiana was defended. Both Moore and Congressman Lucius Dupre argued that allowing recruits to remain west of the Mississippi River would quickly bring conscripts to camp. In contrast, if the government insisted on sending more Louisiana men out of the state, then finding both volunteers and conscripts would be difficult. Six months later, Moore called for the central government to send Louisiana troops in the eastern theater back to the state, adding that many people privately complained that the Pelican State would have been better off if it had "preserved her independent sovereignty and employed her 35,000 soldiers and her millions of treasure" for her own defense. (23)

Later, Governor Moore sang a states' rights siren song in decrying conscription and asserting that
   a claim by the Confederate Government of the right to the
   compulsory service of any State officer, is wholly inadmissible in
   theory, and very dangerous in practice. If the Confederate
   Government can conscribe one officer of the State, it may conscribe
   another.... Concede this principle, and the State Government may at
   any moment be subverted by the central authority, and the whole
   machinery of its administration be destroyed--It is because we
   claimed that the States were sovereign [sic], and could not be
   impeded in the exercise of their independent functions, that our
   confederacy was formed.

Agreeing with the governor, some conscripts fought the measure on the grounds of states' rights. Drafted men who held minor positions in state government or state commissions sued for their freedom. One echoed Moore's contention that allowing the army to draft state officers was to give the principle of states' rights "a death blow" and make it "a laughable farce ... which ... would put an end to our Republican system of government." Despite their concerns, Governors Moore and Mien challenged conscription more in their rhetoric than in their actions. While conscription increased tensions between the state's wartime government and the Confederacy, and while Moore assigned some troops to local Partisan Ranger organizations, Louisiana governors never presented the challenge to Confederate authority that more vocal administration critics such as Joseph Brown in Georgia and Zebulon Vance in North Carolina did. (24)

Other Louisianans did not protest that states' rights had been abridged, but instead worried that conscription threatened control of Louisiana's slaves. The first conscription act subjected all able-bodied Southern white men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five to the draft. Almost immediately after the passage of this act, many warned that this situation left women and children at the mercy of the state's slave population, a significant concern considering slaves comprised a majority of the population in thirty-one of Louisiana's forty-eight parishes. An officer training conscripts at Camp Pratt worried about his family, for "The 'Conscripts' have taken our overseer.... The negroes consequently have had everything pretty much their way." Congressman John Perkins received a letter alleging that "the negroes in [Madison] Parish are giving a great deal of trouble." Not only had they killed "a great many overseers," but two runaways had asked Confederate soldiers (after mistaking them for Union troops) to have "some of men to go with them to kill the women & children." The author of this ominous letter offered a simple solution to this problem: "I think there should be one man left on every plantation." A year earlier, another resident of Madison parish, where slaves comprised 88 percent of the population, had warned President Davis that fear of either enemy invasion or a "John Brown raid" combined with "a deep seated anxiety in regard to negroes" was keeping men from joining the Confederate army. Enough congressmen agreed with these trepidations that the conscription laws were altered in October 1862 to exempt one man for every plantation with twenty or more slaves. (25)

Louisiana planters took advantage of this exemption. According to an incomplete set of enrollment statistics from twenty-four parishes in 1865, there were 8,537 Louisianans in Confederate service. Exemptions and details amounted to a total of 1,205 men. Of these, 350 (210 of those exempted and 140 of those detailed) were overseers or agriculturalists. Although an exemption for twenty slaves appeared to be exclusive, in a state where slaves constituted 60 percent of the population outside the region around Orleans Parish, a frustrated Gen. Richard Taylor could exaggerate that this exemption, when combined with other exceptions, rendered the conscription act "almost inoperative so far as this State is concerned." In her study of discontent in Civil War Louisiana, Ethel Taylor contends that the law represented class legislation as only approximately two thousand of the state's more than fifty thousand eligible soldiers owned twenty or more slaves. (26)

If exemption represented one opportunity for rich Louisianans to avoid the army, substitution offered another. Unlike the Union, the Confederacy did not offer prospective conscripts an opportunity to escape the draft by paying a $300 commutation fee. Instead, a draftee could offer the service of an ineligible man in his place. This pool included men outside the draft's age range, but more frequently in Louisiana, foreigners living within Confederate lines served as prospective substitutes. One Scottish soldier serving in a Louisiana unit speculated that Congress exempted foreign nationals specifically because "it would be necessary to have some suitable men to form such substitutes." Regardless of the veracity of this assertion, clearly substitution allowed affluent Southerners to avoid Confederate military service. With no price guidelines, conscripts and substitutes negotiated their own contracts, and it quickly became apparent that the cost, which ranged as high as $5,000, far exceeded the financial resources of the average citizen. As mentioned earlier, Robert Carter agreed to pay Frederick Scheuber's family $2,500 plus interest. Elsewhere, in January 1863, Samuel M. Davis offered Frank Reilly $3,000 to serve in his stead, Louis de Lanoue agreed to serve as a substitute for Gustave Favrot for $3,800, and Isaac Walker urged his wife to find a temporary substitute and "doant [sic] stand back on the price." Again, the exact number of substitutes will never be known, but as late as 1865, over a year after the substitute law had been repealed, the enrollment statistics for twenty-four parishes still contained sixty-five men listed as exempt because they had provided substitutes. (27)

The state's foreign-born population represented a pool of potential substitutes, but they were a group of questionable Confederate loyalty. The government had to decide how to treat these men, and they in turn had to decide what loyalty they owed the Confederacy. The dilemma of how the foreign-born population fit into the conscription process proved more vexing in Louisiana than in any other Confederate state. According to the 1860 census, there were 80,975 foreign-born people in Louisiana, a number that made up 11.4 percent of the state's total population. In contrast, in the other ten Confederate states, the foreign-born population comprised only 1.8 percent of the population. Of course, being born outside the United States did not equate to being a foreign resident, and Confederate officials enforcing conscription had to decide how to distinguish between aliens, who were exempt from conscription, and immigrants, who were liable for Confederate service. (28)

In Louisiana, the majority of the foreign-born population lived in New Orleans and therefore fell under Union occupation at the time when conscription began, but foreign-born men who remained within Confederate lines faced the challenges of conscription. According to international law, neither the Union nor the Confederacy could conscript foreigners. Thus, Governor Moore's September 1861 decree that all male residents were subject to conscription into the state militia angered foreign governments. Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin, himself a foreign-born Louisianan, ruled that aliens would only be obligated to provide home defense. When the Confederacy adopted its own conscription measure in April 1862, it exempted foreigners who intended to return to their home country. Later, another Louisianan, John Slidell, the Confederacy's representative to France, sounded more ambiguous when he claimed French subjects who had remained in Louisiana "for the purpose of bettering their fortunes had no right to claim that ... they should not be called to take part in the defense of their own property." (29)

Determining whether an immigrant intended to return to his native land proved difficult in practice. The whim of army officials, who might not have spoken the same language as potential conscripts, often replaced codified rules, and Gary B. Mills contends that despite the rules of international law, conscription of aliens in Louisiana "was almost routine." W.C. Corsan, a British visitor to the Confederacy, found that his British passport did not prevent an enrolling officer from removing him from a train in the Florida Parishes, though, subsequently, another officer did discharge him as a nonpermanent resident. If men like Corsan, who had only traveled to Louisiana in 1863, faced difficulties, not surprisingly long-term residents faced even greater obstacles as they sought to avoid the conscript net. Conscript officers feared that immigrants who never intended to return home were trying to take advantage of a loophole in the conscription law. Thus, the army called for "a most rigid investigation" into these exemption claims and contended that marrying, voting, taking an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, and owning real estate made an alien liable to conscription. They added that "declarations of a party of his intention to return to his native country, if made since the passage of the first Conscript law, are entitled to no weight whatever." For example, in Catahoula Parish, an enrolling officer denied Patrick Finney's claim to be an exempt British subject since Finney, who the enrolling officer considered "a very bad character," had voted in Louisiana. (30)

Regardless of their ethnicity, all Louisiana conscripts had their character questioned. Reacting to the passage of the conscription act, the editor of the Shreveport Semi-Weekly News bemoaned that "one good man, who voluntarily takes his gun and fights ... is far better than a dozen pressed into it." In assessing the conscription law's prospects, Governor Moore concurred that "the large proportion of the good material of our State is in the Army. Pretty much all bad left." As a less-than-enthusiastic William Bonnet succinctly put it, "We are again filling up with conscripts who will in their turn desert." Another officer sardonically joked that the conscripts in his unit must be "excellent soldiers" since they had been out "scouting" for over a month and have "never returned to report progress." Outside Vicksburg, a soldier complained that one conscript, who spent his days pretending to be sick and his nights socializing with local women, "aint worth the powder and lead to kill him." Given the propensity of conscripts to desert, others worried that rounding up conscripts achieved a negligible rate of return because the Conscript Bureau employed more soldiers than it brought into the army. (31)

While aliens could claim they planned to return to Europe in order to avoid service, other Louisianans had to seek more creative ways to escape the army. Gray beards became badges of honor, chronic illnesses increased, state political offices became a hot commodity, the number of ministers in the state surged, and creative bookkeeping was employed to increase the size of slaveholdings and qualify for exemptions. Men offered bribes to accept ineligible substitutes, but those seeking exemption most frequently feigned illness. In his diary, one conscript officer recollected with amusement the reactions of conscripts as army physicians pronounced "the dreaded words 'fit for duty.'" He contrasts the despair of this event with the happy scene when "the man has simply been told, that nothing is left him but to go home and die in peace! But he is not in the army--and therefore he is happy." Another officer recounted a spirited political contest, as two conscript contestants treated their fellow soldiers with rum knowing that they vied not only for a political office but also for an exemption. Some men employed more than one plan to avoid conscription. According to an enrolling officer, Green Bynum first claimed to be a minister of the gospel. When this approach failed, the "rather young looking" Bynum suddenly remembered that he was too old to be drafted. Bynum's ploy failed, as did many others, with one officer maintaining that "[one] hundred [requests] are refused weekly." (32)

From the outset, nonplanters bitterly resented exemptions that allowed wealthy Louisianans to avoid a commitment to the Confederacy. Living in a society that preached adult, white male equality, they objected to Confederate benefits intended solely for slave owners. Even prior to the enactment of conscription, Kate Stone recorded in her diary her poor neighbors' angry contention that Joe Carson was "a rich man's son too good to fight the battles of the rich," and she later described a company of poor men "who naturally have an ill feeling against the 'rich swampers.'" Additionally, a Confederate official complained that Governor Moore's 1861 exemption of slaveholders from the state militia "defeat[ed] that harmony and cordial cooperation ... among all classes so very necessary in the present great emergency." If that sentiment existed prior to the passage of the so-called twenty-negro law in October 1862, it unquestionably continued after the law's enactment. In 1863, the Shreveport News complained that this exemption brought a "broad and degrading line of distinction between the rich slave owner and the poor white man." Deserter J. W. Courtney offered his mother and sister this explanation of his decision to flee the army: the Confederate government has "always made laws to oppress the poor since this war commenced. [F]irst the twenty negro law ... next was allowed the rich man ... the privilege to hire a substitute." Courtney added that meanwhile the poor have been left in desperation with their families neglected. (33)

Louisianans disagreed on how to treat those who resisted conscription. In a society that valued white male independence, the prospect of forcing Southern men to become Confederate conscripts, especially when hunters used dogs to ferret them out, smacked of slavery, anathema to all citizens. The passage of a law in 1864 that made it illegal to "say, print, or write ... or use any appliances or influences ... to prevent conscripts from being duly enrolled" struck a further blow at Louisianans' freedom of speech and therefore their independence. According to Confederate dissenter William Hyman, the heels of despotism could be seen when General Taylor had him arrested for "undue interference in the cases of conscripts" simply for suing out writs of habeas corpus for "illegal conscribed persons." Dennis Haynes would have concurred after his own arrest for treason for denouncing the conscript act and the twenty-negro exemption. In his memoir, he recounts a conversation with his prison guard When Haynes inquired why the guard fought, the guard responded that he fought for liberty. "'Liberty!' says I; 'to hell with such liberty where a man is shot for criticizing an act of congress." Because of the perception that conscription denied white men's liberty, in many areas the sympathetic populace would aid resisters and provide advance warning whenever hunters arrived. In the guise of taking corn to a mill, Haynes had given the alarm prior to his arrest, and, in another area, a disgusted officer complained that one dodger "seems to be posted as to the movements of each Enrolling officer." (34)

Recognizing the threat that conscription posed to a man's sense of independence, Confederate leaders, employing the carrot along with the stick, used the draft to stimulate volunteering. Particularly in areas where army officers felt that they could not enforce conscription because of the presence of swamps and bayous, they bent the law by using a combination of amnesty, bounties, and choices of units for those who volunteered. On December 9, 1863, E. G. Randolph, the newly named head of the Conscription District of Louisiana, issued General Orders No. 1, which revealed many of the problems with enforcing conscription. It called for monthly reports, encouraged officers to "visit every portion of the parish ... to promote a general understanding with the citizens," admonished them that "it is not intended to unnecessarily harass those who are clearly unable for service," and warned them to verify that substitutes were neither liable for conscription themselves nor under eighteen. At the same time these officers were to treat citizens with kid gloves, they were also reminded that "no one need expect to escape who should be in the field" and that they could apply to headquarters for cavalry reinforcements "to arrest those conscripts who persist in evading military service." In other words, Randolph hoped that conscript officers could accomplish the seemingly impossible task of rounding up 100 percent of the eligible soldiers while not touching a hair on the head of a single ineligible man or angering the community. (35)

Louisianans unhappy with conscription expressed their frustration with the most visible symbol of the policy--conscript hunters. After not hearing back from his cousin, Capt. John David Workman halfheartedly joked that he was beginning to think that his relatives had "concluded to cut our acquaintance because we were engaged in conscript hunting." He also worried that "my heart is not hard enough to treat [conscripts] with the harshness they deserve. It is a very disagreeable business and one which I dislike much." Workman's fears of ostracism had some justification, for, in 1864, Louisiana Unionists in Mexandria burned the homes of people who had aided in conscription efforts. Others recognized the irony that conscript hunters who rounded up men to force them to fight were themselves avoiding battle by serving as hunters. William Watson said that volunteers' initial enthusiasm that the conscript act would ensnare those who had not previously done their duty was replaced by despair as towns "filled with those drunken, swaggering loafers dressed in gaudy Confederate uniforms hunting up conscripts." (36)

Not all Louisianans displayed misgivings regarding conscription. Men in the army expressed their desire that shirkers be compelled to join them in the ranks. For example, Granville Alspaugh wrote to his mother that Captain Talbert was heading home to conscript men, and "I hope he will get Bill Broadway and Jim. They are the men that I want him to get." Gen. Richard Taylor justified the arresting of conscripts on the grounds of "justice to those who are faithfully serving their country in the field." Frustrated by all those who avoided service, Reuben Pierson warned his sister to "never marry any young man who puts in a substitute ... nor one who has to be dragged into service." In letters to his brother, Pierson explained how these men, particularly those who had provided substitutes, speculated on foodstuffs while not caring if soldiers' wives and children starved. Nevertheless, even a soldier's attitude toward conscription could change abruptly. In November 1862, John Hall feared that the "Yankees will whip us" because "so many of our men are shirking out of the hardships of the war." Yet, one month after he wrote this letter, Hall provided a substitute and went home to his wife and children. (37)

At home, some soldiers' wives, sisters, and daughters presented arguments on behalf of their absent husbands, brothers, and fathers. Reacting to the passage of the conscription act, Kate Stone, who had already watched two brothers volunteer for the army, chastised those "shirking stay-at-homes," and she hoped "these coward souls will be made to go." She later expressed her satisfaction as "the fear of conscription has forced them in.... better late than never." One soldier rounding up conscripts explained how his unit surrounded a church and captured men as they left the service. According to his version of events, the women present initially expressed displeasure at the sight of armed men surrounding the church, but after learning the intent of the soldiers' mission, they expressed their unqualified support. (38)

Other Louisianans feared that Confederate conscription had stripped the state of its protectors and providers. Even prior to the enactment of conscription, a soldier from Caddo Parish, safely in the Confederate interior, lamented that his parish was defenseless as "all our arms and all our men are gone." In June 1863, writing to President Davis, Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, head of the Trans-Mississippi Department, asserted that only the elderly, the exempt, the lukewarm, and the speculators remained. Reminiscing on life in Natchitoches at the time of the 1864 Red River campaign, Dosia Williams Moore recalled that the only white man there when Union troops arrived was an elderly tutor. Earlier, even Kate Stone had changed her tone, worrying that "we are in a helpless situation, three ladies and two little girls and not a white man or even a gun on the place." While wealthy women like Stone may have been helpless, for less affluent families this absence of white men meant that women had to shoulder the full burden of raising crops and to face the real prospect of starvation. (39)

Upon assuming the governor's office, Henry Watkins Allen acknowledged that the state's devastation could reduce the populace's willingness to accept conscription. Realizing that "the farm-houses have been burned.... The plantations deserted ... and desolation reigns supreme," he emphasized that a renewed dedication to the Confederacy presented the best chance for victory. In April 1864, in the wake of the Union army's failed invasion up the Red River, Governor Allen called upon men to "rally in defense of your wives and children, your homes and sacred altars," and he added, "Ladies of Louisiana! I appeal to you by all you hold sacred in heaven or dear on earth to urge every man who can fire a gun to respond to this call." The official government report on the Red River campaign maintained that appeals like this had worked as "more men have girded on their armor ... and more mothers have sent out their husbands and sons to defend their homes and firesides." (40)

By 1864 potential conscripts, especially those living in no-man's-land or on the Confederate frontier, could counter Allen's argument and contend that dodging the draft and remaining home represented a better way to protect their families. As early as June 1862, Governor Moore, in calling upon the president to allow Louisiana conscripts to remain in the state, reminded Davis that it would boost the morale of Louisiana volunteers who continued to serve in Virginia to know "the defense of their families and property is provided for." Historian John Kelly Damico contends that by the end of the conflict in North Louisiana, "Confederate soldiers saw as their primary duty the protection of their families and property rather than loyalty to the colors." Their family members' pleas confirmed this sentiment. In December 1862, twenty-nine women and eleven men from Stanly's Precinct in Rapides Parish made a desperate appeal to Governor Moore. According to their petition, the almost five hundred starving women and children of their community had the service of only two men. Unless Governor Moore detailed more men to help in the region, they warned that "there will be great suffering." Governor Allen faced similar pleas. Priscilla Allen (no relation to the governor) sent him "some account of the privations to which the soldiers' families are reduced to by the state." Detailing shortages in food, clothing, and medical care, this Rapides Parish resident warned the governor that when a soldier sees his family "neglected and left without the commonest necessaries of life it is not to be wondered at that [he] vow to serve his country only at the point of the bayonet." (41)

As the war continued and Confederate Louisiana shrank, the state's women grew increasingly both discouraged and vocal regarding their privation and their state's defenselessness. On January 8, 1863, in a letter to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, fifteen women from St. Helena Parish expressed their frustration with Confederate policy. Writing as "a band of helpless women--we the mothers, daughters, and sisters of your soldiers," they "used their only practical medium"--the pen--to challenge the removal of troops from nearby Camp Moore. They issued a "vanquished cry ... for continued protection," for the absence of troops had left them in "a perilous position." As he recounted seizing men from their homes at midnight, William Howell described the tearful scene as women "cried and begged at an awful rate, when their husbands, fathers, and brothers were taken away." (42)

State officials heard the complaints of Louisiana's men and women. These leaders had experience in following their constituents' lead, for antebellum Louisiana had seen the expansion of white men's democracy, with the state moving from a limited electorate to a situation where nearly all adult white males could vote. As the electorate expanded, so did the power of the common man. The state's yeoman farmers were sensitive to threats to their liberty, and they were also used to having their voices heard. Officers, many of whom had political ambitions, could not forget that conscripts possessed the ballot. In the privacy of his diary, A.W. Hyatt complained that Gen. Alfred Mouton "feared to shoot a conscript, lest it should make him unpopular in is State, and affect his chances for the gubernatorial chair." During the course of the Civil War debate on conscription policy, other politicians, who also feared losing popularity with the people, continued to follow the dictates of their constituents. (43)

While perfect equality never emerged in the conscript bureau, policies changed to make the process more equitable. In an 1864 address to the legislature, Governor Moore demonstrated the tightrope that loyal Confederates had to walk regarding conscription. He declared that "no sacrifice is too great" and that "Everyone must render his service." However, Moore now broadened his definition of service to include "the raising of food, the manufacture of clothing, and the development of resources needed for war purposes, and the maintenance of women and children." Additionally, he complained that "Congress should repeal the law authorizing substitutes to be furnished by conscripts." In 1863, two congressional candidates also championed the people's issues with their platform frankly declaring "opposition to exemptions from military service, especially exemptions based on property ... [and] opposition to the principle of substitution in the army." In Richmond, the Confederate Congress also responded. In January 1864, congressmen ended the practice of substitution and made all those who had previously furnished substitutes liable for conscription. Some soldiers expressed their pleasure with this policy alteration. A conscript officer pointed out that the previous law "has done a favor for [the rich]," but it had "created a palpable distinction between the rich and the poor, impolitic and baneful in its influence." Another agreed that the new law "gives to every man the same chance the millionaire as the poorest laborer has to shoulder his musket in defense of his home, his property, and his rights." (44)

Ten days earlier, the latter letter writer had pointed out another criticism of the rich that the conscript bureau tried to rectify. He decried the "fat saucy extortioners and speculators who have been striving to make fortunes ... not caring if the widowed wives and orphaned children of the soldier perished for want of food." Increasingly, exemptions and details either specifically aided those with poor families or forced those exempt to provide for their neighbors. In November 1864, the enrolling officer in Natchitoches declared that any planter who attempted to flee to Texas with his slaves would have his detail revoked and his wagons and horses impressed into the army. These cases demonstrate the government's willingness to respond to the people's desire to close the loopholes in the rules concerning details and exemption, though as one officer complained, "Nothing is more vexatious" than this "constant dabbling," which angered first one set of constituents and then another. (45)

Additionally, the government extended direct and indirect aid to families of soldiers. The Louisiana legislature authorized $9.7 million for soldiers' families. On a local level, West Feliciana Parish granted impoverished soldiers' families a stipend of $20 to $30 a month, specifically including conscripts' families in this group. Elsewhere, men were detailed to serve as farmers or physicians for their community or simply to take care of needy families. For instance, in November 1864, Pvt. L.H. Hadden received a detail "to remain at home to take care of soldiers' families," while another man received a ninety-day detail "to provide for his destitute family." E.D. Debreuhl's detail required him to serve as a public miller and to care for his "insane wife." Another man, detailed as a tanner, had to deliver fifty sides or fail at his "risk and peril." In other cases, slave owners who received details as overseers or because of the twenty-slave exemption were required to sell a certain amount of their crop at a fixed rate to the poor or to soldiers' families or risk a loss of their exemption. (46)

Despite the revocation of the substitution clause and the altering of exemption and details to aid soldiers' families, Confederate conscription ultimately failed to provide enough troops to win the war. In May 1865, more than a month after Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, General Smith, the head of the Trans-Mississippi Department, still wished to fight. Lambasting soldiers who had left the army in violation of conscription, an anguished Smith howled, "Soldiers! I am left a commander without an army--a General without troops. You have made your choice. It was unwise and unpatriotic, but it is final." From April 1862 to the end of the war, all Louisianans faced the challenges of conscription, and the policy had indeed forced them to make choices. For Louisianans, their ethnicity, wealth, and proximity to the Union army shaped their attitudes toward joining the Confederate service. Many draft-eligible men who resided in garrisoned towns and in the ever-increasing no-man's-lands could easily avoid Confederate service. Men on the Confederate frontier could contend that they needed to resist conscription in order to protect their families. To dodge the draft, these men could join Jayhawker bands or hide in the state's swamps and forests. Many foreigners and Cajuns asserted that this conflict was not their fight, and some nonslaveholders would have concurred. In contrast, others, especially politicians, soldiers, and those with family members in the service, would maintain that conscription laws needed to be enforced more rigidly. Understanding Louisianans' varied reactions to conscription provides another key to understanding Confederate conscription as a whole. (47)

(1.) Memorandum of Agreement, Oct. 23,1862, Assorted receipts, 1863, Joseph Vidal and Family Papers, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge (hereafter LLMVC); Joseph Karl Menn, The Large Slaveholders of Louisiana, 1860 (New Orleans: Pelican Publishing Co., 1964), 202-3.

(2.) Albert Burton Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy (New York, 1924), 12-13, 34.

(3.) Works that highlight Confederate conscription at a local level include David P. Smith, "Conscription and Conflict on the Texas Frontier, 1863-1865," Civil War History 36 (1990): 250-61; Douglas Clare Purcell, "Military Conscription in Alabama during the Civil War," Alabama Review 34 (Apr. 1981): 94-106; Memory F. Mitchell, Legal Aspects of Conscription and Exemption in North Carolina, 1861-1865 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1965); David Carlson, "'The Distemper of the Time': Conscription, the Courts, and Planter Privilege in Civil War South Georgia" Journal of Southwest Georgia History 14 (1999): 1-24; David Carlson, "The 'Lonely Runagee': Draft Evaders in Confederate South Georgia," Georgia Historical Quarterly 84 (Winter 2000): 589-615; David Williams, Rich Man's War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley (Athens: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1998), esp. 129-35; and William A. Blair, Virginia's Private War: Feeding Body and Soul in the Confederacy, 1861-1865 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998).

(4.) For the Civil War in Louisiana, see Jefferson Davis Bragg, Louisiana in the Confederacy (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1941); John David Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1963); and Robert L. Kerby, Kirby Smith's Confederacy: The Trans-Mississippi South, 1863-1865 (Tuscaloosa: Univ. of Alabama Press, 1972).

(5.) Richard Taylor to Gen. S. Cooper, Dec. 30,1862, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, D.C., 1880-1901), ser. 1, vol. 15, 919-20 (first quote) (hereafter OR; citations from series 1 unless otherwise indicated); Adjutant General (M. Grivot), Annual Report, Dec. l0, 1862, in Napier Bartlett, A Soldier's Story of the War Including the Marches and Battles of the Washington Artillery and of Other Louisiana Troops (New Orleans, 1874), 256-57; "Annual Address of Thomas Overton Moore,' Jan. 18, 1864, Thomas Overton Moore Papers, LLMVC; Louisiana Democrat, Nov. 19,1862 and 1863, quoted in G. P. Whittington, Rapides Parish, Louisiana: A History (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1970), 145. Andrew B. Booth, Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands (New Orleans, 1920), 1:6, estimates that 56,000 Louisianans served in the Confederate army.

(6.) Henry Watkins Allen to James A. Seddon, Oct. 12,1863, OR, 53:900-901 (first quote); vol. 26, pt. 1, 313-14; vol. 22, pt. 2, l057-58 (second quote); John David Workman to Mary, Sept. 17, 1863, Wright-Boyd Papers, LLMVC.

(7.) Stephen V. Ash, When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South, 1861-5865 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1995), esp. 76- 107.

(8.) Orleans and Jefferson contained 44-5 percent of the state's white population in 1860. All 1860 data from Census Data for the Year 1860 (accessed July 7, 2006).

(9.) OR, 15:872 (quote); Annual Report, Dec. 10, 1862, in Bartlett, A Soldier's Story of the War, 256-57

(10.) Mira Cooper to Arthur Hyatt, Mar. 27,1864 (quote), Hyatt Papers, LLMVC; William H. Whitney to Frank Whitney, Jan. 21,1864, William H. Whitney Letters, LLMVC; Moore address, June 18, 1862, Thomas Overton Moore Papers, LLMVC. For Union conscription efforts, see Stephen S. Michot, "'War is Still Raging in This Part of the Country': Oath-Taking, Conscription, and Guerrilla War in Louisiana's Lafourche Region," Louisiana History 38 (Spring 1997): 157-84, and Carl A. Brasseaux, Acadian to Cajun, Transformation of a People, 1803-1877 (Jackson: Univ. of Mississippi Press, 1992), 73.

(11.) New Orleans Daily Picayune, Nov. 21,1862; New Orleans Era, Mar. 12,1863; Natchez Courier, Sept. 9,1863 (first quote), Harper's Weekly, Dec. 19, 1863 (second quote).

(12.) Afred C. Hills, MacPherson, The Confederate Philosopher (New York, 1864), 118-24 (quotes 122, 144).

(13.) Barnes F. Lathrop, "The Lafourche District in 1862: Militia and Partisan Rangers," Louisiana History 1 (Fall 1960): 230-44 (quotes 234, 235).

(14.) Mayo to George Logan, May 31,1863, Major Soniat to Logan, Nov. 12,1863 (first quote), C. C. Davenport to Logan, Dec. 1, 1863 (second quote), George Walton to General Blanchard, Jan. 12, 1863 (third quote), C. C. Duke to Logan, Oct. 29, 1863 (fourth quote), J. C. Lewis to Logan, Apr. 10, 1863, all in George William Logan Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Manuscripts Department, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (hereafter SHC).

(15.) John M. Sacher, A Perfect War of Politics: Parties, Politicians, and Democracy in Louisiana, 1824-1861 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 2003), 298; James G. Taliaferro, "Protest Delivered at the Secession Convention, 1861;' LLMVC; C. C. Duke to George Logan, Jan. 23, 1864 (first quote), C.C. Davenport to Logan, Jan. 20, 1864, Logan to E. Surget, Apr. 15, 1863 (second quote), Logan to General Blanchard, Jan. 28,1863 (third quote), all in Logan Papers, SHC.

(16.) Ash, When the Yankees Came, 77 (quote); Annual Report, Dec. 10, 1862, in Bartlett, A Soldier's Story of the War, 256-57; Kerby, Kirby Smith's Confederacy, 238; Samuel C. Hyde Jr., "Bushwhacking and Barn Burning: Civil War Operations and the Florida Parishes' Tradition of Violence," Louisiana History 36 (Spring 1995): 171-86.

(17.) OR, 15:872 (first quote), 919-20 (second quote); William Howell, Aug. 17,1863, in Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, Aug. 31,1863, in Donald S. Frazier, "Out of Stinking Distance: The Guerrilla War in Louisiana," in Donald S. Sutherland, ed., Guerrillas, Unionists, and Violence on the Confederate Home Front (Fayetteville, Ark.: Univ. of Arkansas Press, 1999), 163 (third quote); Galveston Weekly News, in W. T. Block, "Some Notes of the Civil War Jayhawkers of Confederate Louisiana," (accessed July 10, 2006).

(18.) Frazier, "Out of Stinking Distance," 170 (first quote); William Howell, Aug. 17, 1863, in Houston Tri- Weekly Telegraph, Aug. 31, 1863, in Frazier, "Out of Stinking Distance," 165 (second quote), 163 (third quote); Slave quote in Gary B. Mills, "Alexandria, Louisiana: A 'Confederate' City at War with Itself," in Arthur W. Bergeron, ed., The Civil War in Louisiana, Part B: The Home Front (Lafayette: Univ. of Louisiana, 2004), 177; Carl A. Brasseaux, "Ozeme Carriere and the St. Landry Jayhawkers, 1863-1865," in Bergeron, ed., The Civil War in Louisiana, Part A: Military Activity (Lafayette: Univ. of Louisiana, 2002), 640-46.

(19.) OR, 34:965-66 (quote); Brasseaux, "Ozeme Carriere and the St. Landry Jayhawkers, 1863-1865," 644. For defenselessness of soldiers' families in northern Louisiana, see W. S. McIntosh to George Logan, Oct. 30, 1863, Logan Papers, SHC.

(20.) Frazier, "Out of Stinking Distance," 163 (first quote); OR, 34, pt. 2:944 (second quote); Dennis E. Haynes, A Thrilling Narrative of the Sufferings of Union Refugees and the Massacre of the Martyrs of Liberty of Western Louisiana ... (Washington, D.C., 1866), 7-14, 66-69. For more on Haynes, see Arthur W. Bergeron, "Dennis Haynes and His 'Thrilling Narrative of the Sufferings of ... the Martyrs of Liberty of Western Louisiana,'" in Bergeron, ed., The Civil War in Louisiana, 343-53.

(21.) B. W. Blakewood to L. P. Walker, July 13, 1861, OR, ser. 4, 1:475 (first quote); Brasseaux, Acadian to Cajun, 58-73 (second quote, 58); Roger W. Shugg, Origins of Class Struggle in Louisiana: A Social History of White Farmers and Laborers during Slavery and After, 1840-1875 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1939), 173. As Brasseaux demonstrates, not all Cajuns resisted conscription. Their reaction to the measure balanced several other factors, including class, in addition to ethnicity.

(22.) Lyman Harding to Lt. Edward Palfrey, Oct. 25, 1862 (first quote), Rosemonde E. and Emile Kuntz Collection, MS 600, Tulane University Manuscripts Department (hereafter TU); Edward G. Butler to Pa, Nov. 5,1862 (second quote), Butler Family Papers, LLMVC; Brasseaux, Acadian to Cajun, 64; Arthur W. Bergeron, "Prison Life at Camp Pratt," Louisiana History 14 (Fall 1973): 388 (third quote); Ash, When the Yankees Came, 184 (Lovell quote).

(23.) P. L. Prudhomme to Lestan Prudhomme, Nov. 28, 1862, Prudhomme Family Papers, LLMVC (first quote); Thomas Overton Moore to Jefferson Davis, June 2, 1862, OR, 15:747-49 (second quote); Lucius J. Dupre to Davis, Oct. 11,1862, in Lynda L. Crist et al., eds., The Papers of Jefferson Davis (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1995), 8:440-41; Moore to Davis, Dec. 1, 1862 (third quote), OR, 53:836-37.

(24.) Annual Address of Thomas Overton Moore, Jan. 18, 1864 (first quote), Moore Papers, LLMVC; statement exempting Thomas Bienvenu from service, n.d. (second quote), St. Martin Parish Papers, LLMVC; for Georgia and North Carolina governors and conscription, see Moore, Conscription and Conflict, 279-96, and Paul D. Escott, Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1978), 80-88. For the governor of Texas fighting with Richmond regarding conscription and the removal of troops from his state, see Smith, "Conscription and Conflict on the Texas Frontier, 1863-1865;" 250-61. For state totals, see OR, set. 4, 3:1102-3. In this chart, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia all exceed 10,000 state exemptions. At this point, Louisiana most likely had fewer than 500 exempt. For Louisiana, see this citation (219 exempt) and Enrollment Statistics, Mar. 1865 (119 exempt), Louisiana State Archives (hereafter LSA). Recent scholarship, including Gordon B. McKinney, Zeb Vance: North Carolina's Civil War Governor and Gilded Age Political Leader (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2004), has convincingly demonstrated that Vance was not simply an obstructionist, but even his work acknowledges that 5,153 state officials were exempted in North Carolina (143).

(25.) Lyman Harding to Lt. Edward Palfrey, Oct. 25, 1862 (first quote), Kuntz Collection, TU; OR, ser. 1, 6:850-51; E. S. to John Perkins, Sept. 12, 1862 (second and third quotes), William M. Pew to John Perkins, Aug. 5, 1862, John Perkins Papers, SHC; Moore, Conscription and Conflict, 70-73; Charles J. Mitchell to Jefferson Davis, Apr. 27, 1861, in Crist et al., eds., The Papers of Jefferson Davis, 7:134-35 (fourth and fifth quotes); Hugh W. Montgomery to Lt. Col. A. W. Hyatt, Oct. 14, 1864, Hyatt Papers, LLMVC; Opelousas Courier, Oct. 25, 1862. For fears of slave rebellion in Florida Parishes, see Samuel C. Hyde Jr., Pistols and Politics: The Dilemma of Democracy in Florida Parishes, 1810-1899 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1996), 125-26. Many consider the "twenty-negro" law to be outright class legislation, and it may have been. However, it also represented real fears of slave revolts, particularly in parishes where slaves overwhelmingly outnumbered whites.

(26.) Enrollment Statistics, Mar. 1865, LSA. The next three highest totals were for physicians (138), civil officers (119), and preachers (113); OR, ser. 1, 15:174-76, 919-20 (quote); Sacher, Perfect War of Politics, 6; Ethel Taylor, "Discontent in Confederate Louisiana," Louisiana History 2 (Fall 1961): 415.

(27.) Moore, Conscription and Conflict, 27-51; William Watson, Life in the Confederate Army: Being the Observations and Experiences of an Alien in the South During the American Civil War 1887; reprint, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1995), 348 (first quote); Taylor, "Discontent in Confederate Louisiana;' 415; Oct. 23, 1862, Memorandum of Agreement, Assorted receipts, 1863, Samuel Davis, Jan. 2, 1863, Joseph Vidal and Family Papers, LLMVC; Diary, Mar. 25, 1863, Favrot Family Papers, Collection no. 550, TU, Isaac Walker to Holley Walker, July 20, 1862 (second quote) in Allan C. Richard Jr., and Mary Margaret Higginbotham Richard, The Defense of Vicksburg: A Louisiana Chronicle (College Station: Texas A&M Univ. Press, 2004), 60; Enrollment Statistics, Mar. 1865, LSA.

(28.) Foreign population totals from Census Data for the Year 1860 (accessed July 7, 2006). In the Confederacy, Texas, with 43,422 foreign born comprising 7.2 percent of its population, was second in both categories. In none of the nine other Confederate states did the foreign-born population exceed 2.5 percent of the total population.

(29.) Ella Lonn, Foreigners in the Confederacy (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1940), 383-416; Governor Moore to Judah E Benjamin, Feb. 15, 1862, and Benjamin to Moore, Feb. 16, 1862, in OR, 53:786; John Slidell to Benjamin, Nov. 17, 1864 (quote), in James D. Richardson, ed., The Messages and Papers of Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy, Including Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865 (New York, 1966), 685.

(30.) Gary B. Mills, "Alexandria, Louisiana: A 'Confederate' City at War with Itself," 179 (first quote); Mills, "Alien Neutrality and the Red River Campaign," in Bergeron, ed., The Civil War in Louisiana: Part B, 166-67; W. C. Corsan, Two Months in the Confederate States: An Englishman's Travels Through the South (1863; reprint, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press 1998), 41; Trans-Mississippi Department General Orders, Special Orders and Circulars relating to Conscription, Oct. 15, 1863 (second quote), LSA; John David Workman to Mary, Sept. 17, 1863, Wright Boyd Papers, LLMVC; G. Spencer to George Logan, June 9, 1863, Logan Papers, SHC (Finney claim). For another denial of an application, see Solomon Cahan Application, LLMVC. For approval of an application, see Adolph Allain Application, LSA.

(31.) Shreveport Semi-Weekly News, Apr. 18, 1862 (first quote); Thomas Overton Moore to Governor Lubbock, May 25, 1863 (second quote), Lubbock Papers, Texas State Archives; William Bonner to Mother, June 24, 1863 (third quote), Samuel C. Bonner and Family Papers, LLMVC; Arthur Bergeron, ed., The Civil War Reminiscences of Major Silas T. Grisamore, C.S.A. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1993), 102 (fourth quote); Granville Alspaugh to Amelia Alspaugh, Apr. 6, 1863 (fifth quote), in Defense of Vicksburg, 129; Watson, Life in the Confederate Army, 349.

(32.) Gustave A. Breaux, Diary, Feb. 21, July 10 (first quote), 1864, MS 489, TU; John David Workman to Mary Workman, Oct. 15,1863, Wright-Boyd Papers, LLMVC; B. Jenkins to Prudhomme, Letters Sent and Received, Prudhomme Papers, LSA (second quote); Hyatt, Diary, Aug. 30, 1863 (bribery), Hugh Montgomery to A. W. Hyatt, Oct. 14, 1864 (third quote) Hyatt Papers, LLMVC; General Orders No. 6, Confederate Imprint Collection, microfilm (trying to close loopholes in twenty-negro law); Broadside, June 18, 1862 (punish those with Union passports), Moore Papers, LLMVC; OR, 15:759-60. For resentment of rich men's exemptions, see Moore, Conscription and Conflict, 70-75; Escort, After Secession, 116, 120-22; and Blair, Virginia's Private War, 56-58, 101, l02.

(33.) John Q. Anderson, ed., Brokenburn: The Journal of Kate Stone (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1995), Mar. 1, 1862, 95 (first quote), Dec. 16, 1862, 163 (second quote); OR, 6:850-51 (third quote); Shreveport News, Oct. 30,1863, quoted in Bragg, Louisiana in the Confederacy, 257 (fourth quote); J. W. Courtney to mother and sister, Feb. 7, 1864 (fifth quote), Stokes Papers, LLMVC. For a discussion of the "rich man's war, poor man's fight" elsewhere in the South, see Williams, Rich Man's War, esp. 129-35.

(34.) Louisiana Acts (1864), 17; Barnes Lathrop, "Disaffection in Confederate Louisiana," Journal of Southern History 24 (Aug. 1958): 308-18; Haynes, A Thrilling Narrative, 8, 14 (quote), 67 (using dogs); E.J. Merrick to J. Alphonse Prudhomme, Dec. 19, 1864 (second quote), Prudhomme Papers, LSA; Brasseaux, Acadian to Cajun, 65 (using dogs).

(35.) General Orders No. 1, Dec. 19, 1863, LSA (quotes); Barnes Lathrop, "The Lafourche District in 1862: Confederate Revival," Louisiana History I (Fall 1960): 317 (stimulus to volunteering); Louis Bush to Louisiana senators Sparrow and Semmes, Aug. 30, 1862, "Letters Received by the Confederate Secretary of War, 1861-1865," microfilm; Gayden Batchelor to Madison Batchelor, Aug. 30, 1863; Albert A. Batchelor Papers, LLMVC; OR, 26:382; Order of Trans-Mississippi Department, Sept. 9, 1863, OR, 26, pt. 2:215--making arrangements to arrest leaders of resistance in Union Parish while requesting copies of the order of amnesty be sent to the parish as well. For choice of units, see OR, 26:382, pt. 2:541-43. For hiding and resistance elsewhere, see Carlson, "The 'Lonely Runagee': Draft Evaders in Confederate South Georgia."

(36.) John David Workman to Mary, Oct. 15, 1863 (first quote),Workman to Mary, Sept. 17, 1863 (second quote), Wright-Boyd Papers, LLMVC; Bergeron, "Dennis Haynes and His 'Thrilling Narrative of the Sufferings of ... the Martyrs of Liberty of Western Louisiana.'" 348; Watson, Life in the Confederate Army, 349 (third quote).

(37.) Granville Alspaugh to Amelia Alspaugh, Jan. 27, 1863 (first quote), John Hall to Julia Hall, Nov. 21, 1862 (fourth quote), in Defense of Vicksburg, 111, 92; Richard Taylor to Thomas Overton Moore, Nov. 21, 1862 (second quote), OR, 15:874; Reuben Pierson to Mary Catherine Pierson, Mar. 28, 1864 (third quote), Pierson to William H. Pierson, Jan. 5, 15, 1864, all in Thomas W. Cutrer and T. Michael Parrish, eds., Brothers in Gray: The Civil War Letters of the Pierson Family (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1997), 232, 220, 223.

(38.) Anderson, ed., Brokenburn, May 9, 1862 (first quote), Aug. 19, 1862 (second quote), 103, 138; John David Workman to cousin Mary, Oct. 15, 1863, Wright-Boyd Papers, LLMVC.

(39.) Alfred Flournoy to son Alfred, Mar. 16, 1862, in Defense of Vicksburg, 5 (first quote); Edmund Kirby Smith to Jefferson Davis, June 16, 1863, Crist et al., ed., Papers of Jefferson Davis, 9:220-22; Carol Wells, ed., War, Reconstruction, and Redemption on Red River: The Memoirs of Dosia Williams Moore (Ruston, La.: McGinty Publications, 1990), 15; Brokenburn, Mar. 5,1863, 175; Shugg, Origins of Class Struggle, 177.

(40.) Sarah A. Dorsey, Recollections of Henry Watkins Allen, Brigadier-General Confederate States Army, Ex-Governor of Louisiana (New York, 1866), 279 (first quote); Henry Watkins Allen, "Proclamation to the Citizens of Louisiana" (second quote), in Confederate Imprint Collection, reel 42-1637; Official Report Relative to the Conduct of Federal Troops in Western Louisiana (1864) 12 (third second quote); Susan E. Dollar, "The Red River Campaign, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana: A Case of Equal Opportunity Destruction," Louisiana History 43 (Fall 2002): 423-24; OR, 34:965-66. For an excellent example of how Union occupation could increase Confederate resistance, see Jacqueline G. Campbell, When Sherman Marched North from the Sea: Resistance on the Confederate Home Front (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2003).

(41.) Thomas Overton Moore to Jefferson Davis, June 2, 1862 (first quote), OR, 15:747; John Kelly Damico, "Confederate Soldiers Take Matters into Their Own Hands: The End of the Civil War in North Louisiana," Louisiana History 39 (Spring 1998): 194 (second quote); Petition from the Citizens of Stanly's Precinct to Governor Moore, Dec. 1, 1862, Moore Papers, LLMVC (third quote); Priscilla Allen to Gov. Allen, Jan. 17, 1865, Wise Papers, LLMVC (fourth quote).

(42.) For the classic discussion of Confederate women's increasing disenchantment with the war, see Drew Gilpin Faust, "Altars of Sacrifice: Confederate Women and the Narratives of War," Journal of American History 76 (Mar. 1990): 1200-28; Letter to General Johnston, Jan. 8, 1863, OR, 53:842-43 (first quote); William Howell, Aug. 17, 1863, in Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, Aug. 31,1863, as quoted in Frazier, "Out of Stinking Distance;" 164 (second quote).

(43.) Hyatt Papers, Oct. 8, 1863 (quote); for white men's democracy in antebellum Louisiana, see Sacher, A Perfect War of Politics. For an excellent example of a state changing policies for the benefit of its citizens, see Blair, Virginia's Private War, 81-107.

(44.) Annual Address of Thomas Overton Moore, Jan. 18, 1864, Moore Papers, LLMVC (first and second quotes); Shreveport Semi-Weekly News, Oct. 13, 1863 (third quote); Moore, Conscription and Conflict, 44-46; Gustave A. Breaux, Diary, Feb. 21, 1864 (fourth quote), TU; Reuben Allen Pierson to William H. Pierson, Jan. 15, 1864 (fifth quote), in Brothers in Gray, 223.

(45.) Reuben Allen Pierson to William H. Pierson, Jan. 5, 1864 (quote), Brothers in Gray, 220; E.G. Randolph to J.A. Prudhomme, Nov. 30, 1864, Prudhomme Papers, LSA; Breaux Diary, Dec. 18, 1864 (second quote), TU.

(46.) William Frank Zornow, "State Aid for Indigent Soldiers and Their Families in Louisiana, 1861-1865," Louisiana Historical Quarterly 39 (July 1956): 380; West Feliciana Parish Military Board Minute Book, Sept. 1, 1862, LLMVC; Headquarters, Bureau of Conscription, Marshall, Tex., Nov. 12, 1864, LSA; Headquarters, Conscript District, La., Goodwill to Braughn, Feb. 13, 1864; Hadden Detail, Aug. 29, 1863; W.D. Loftin Detail, Mar. 3, 1865, Trans-Mississippi Dept. General Orders, Special Orders and Circulars relating to Conscription, LSA. For recognition of need to detail men for food, see Breaux, Diary, Mar. 9, 1864, TU; John A. Spence Record Book, Sept. 1, 1864 (quote), LSA.

(47.) Smith's Address in Joseph Howard Parks, General Edmund Kirby Smith, C.S.A. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press 1954; reprint, 1982), 475.
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Author:Sacher, John M.
Publication:Civil War History
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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