The loyal draft dodger? A reexamination of confederate substitution.
In his two volumes, Locke carefully recorded the age, height, complexion, eye color, and occupation of each man who passed through his office. More importantly, he detailed the disposition of each case. While his volumes indicate that the enrolling office sent 310 Rockingham men (27.4 percent) forward to the army, surprisingly, a slightly greater number (326, or 28.8 percent) supplied substitutes in their place. Substitutes represented the highest number of exemptions in his enrolling books, with other significant categories including 240 men exempted on religious grounds, 156 with medical exemptions, 45 shoemakers, 46 blacksmiths, and 37 millers. Not only did Locke catalog the principals, but he also noted the name of the substitutes as well. In keeping a detailed record matching principals and substitutes, he may have been more diligent than men serving in other enrolling offices. Alternatively, his books might just be some of the very few Confederate conscription records that have survived, for today his list represents one of a very small number accessible to researchers. (2)
Thus, the information in Locke's enrolling books, in conjunction with other material relating to Rockingham County, offers an invaluable source to assess historians' conclusions regarding substitution. In contrast to most other Civil War subjects, Confederate substitution remains relatively understudied. This lack of attention is undoubtedly related to a lack of detailed evidence. Even the total number of substitutes remains unknown with estimates varying dramatically from 50,000 to 150,000. Even the lower figure indicates that 100,000 southerners (50,000 principals and 50,000 substitutes) directly participated in the process. Yet, almost all of the lists of substitutes, especially those that match principals with their substitutes, have disappeared. (3)
This article will employ Rockingham's enrolling books, census data, and other evidence to discover contemporary attitudes toward substitution and its relationship to Confederate loyalty. Too often, Civil War scholars studying substitution posit loyalty in dichotomous terms. Either southerners served in the Confederate States Army (classified as loyal) or they did not (disloyal), and in this overly simplistic view, principals who did not serve fit into the disloyal category. My examination of Rockingham County reveals major flaws in our understanding of substitution and its relationship to patriotism. Substitution must be considered among a range of alternatives available to conscripts--from enrollment in the army to outright resistance. Contrary to the image of principals as disloyal men who shirked their Confederate duty by providing untrustworthy mercenaries in their place, Rockingham County's principals followed the law and often provided services to the community and the Confederacy. Rather than simply flaunting their wealth, principals in Rockingham remained home because of their religious scruples or to provide food or other services for their community. This community, in turn, did not automatically resent them or label them as traitors, but instead judged them based on their actions on the home front. Overall, an analysis of Rockingham County demonstrates that both principals and their contemporaries had a broader definition of loyalty than historians often recognize and that southerners expressed Confederate loyalty in multiple ways, with service in the army being only the most obvious. Simply put, principals could be loyal Confederates.
Substitution must be examined as a part of Confederate conscription policy as a whole. In April 1862, recognizing the need to put as much manpower in the field as possible, the Confederate government passed legislation calling for the conscription of all white men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. Exceptions included men in certain war-related professions as well as those (termed principals) who provided someone ineligible for service as a substitute. To ensure the rules were followed properly, a principal had to accompany his substitute to the camp of instruction, where a surgeon would have to judge the substitute medically fit for duty. The inclusion of a substitute clause did not inspire lengthy debates either in Congress or in Confederate newspapers, for it simply adhered to custom. Following European tradition, Americans had supplied substitutes to take their places in conflicts since the American Revolution and even for peacetime militia service. Throughout the rest of the Civil War, the Richmond government tweaked conscription both to find an elusive balance between men on the home and battle fronts and in reaction to constituents' complaints about the policy. The alterations in conscription policy included exempting one man for each plantation with twenty or more slaves, allowing conscientious objectors to pay a five-hundred-dollar fine in lieu of army service, lowering the draft's minimum age to seventeen and increasing its maximum age to fifty, and eventually, in the winter of 1863-64, ending substitution and drafting the principals who had delivered these men to serve in their places. (4)
Historians know these laws, but we know very little about how substitution was implemented at a local level. Unfortunately, in the absence of direct evidence, assumption has too often replaced analysis. Scholars have almost invariably concluded that substitution supports the "rich man's war, poor man's fight" thesis and that the class rift created by the principals' selfish actions contributed to an internal dissent that undermined the Confederacy. In his 1924 Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, still the standard work on the draft, Albert Burton Moore reviled substitution as "the most lamentable feature of the conscription system," asserting that it "produced moral turpitude, popular discontent, and class animosity." He cited examples of the high price of substitutes (ranging up to $5,000 or even $10,000) and contended that soldiers "sustained an unmitigated contempt for both the principal and the substitute," considering both "contumacious cowards and moral weaklings." According to Moore, potential conscripts viewed substitution "as an opportunity to escape service," and after securing substitutes, principals, rather than looking to the commonweal, quickly turned to profiteering. Overall, he argued that substitution, part of a policy ostensibly designed to add soldiers to the Confederate army, actually reduced both its size and effectiveness. (5)
Beginning with Moore, conclusions that substitution represented outright class legislation and undermined the Confederacy have come without much evidence. In fact, Moore does not cite a single volunteer, principal, substitute, or yeoman in drawing his conclusions. Generally, the argument is presented as a tautology based on the following assumptions: only rich men could afford substitutes; neither principals nor substitutes possessed any loyalty to the Confederacy--substitutes quickly deserted the army, and on the home front principals exploited soldiers' families, and, because of these inequities, substitution must have alienated loyal Confederates. These conclusions rest almost solely on "logic" and on scant evidence such as a small number of newspaper advertisements for substitutes and a few comments from letters and diaries that "prove" a lack of patriotism.
In his classic study The Life of Johnny Reb, Bell Wiley contends that substitution was a "shameful reflection on Confederate patriotism." Not only did substitutes make poor soldiers, but also, while there might have been a few patriotic principals, "all too frequently they were of another sort." Paul Escott and David Williams concur with Wiley's analysis. Escott portrays substitution as "one of the greatest causes of discontent" in the Confederacy, and Williams insists that for plain folk it was "one of the most offensive provisions of the draft." Williams agrees with Moore's conclusion that substitution produced more animosity than soldiers, even asserting--based on an incorrect reading of the evidence--that more than ninety percent of substitutes never served in the army. In a 1970 Civil War Times Illustrated article, Lowell H. Harrison captured the spirit of this standard view of substitution, stating both that it "obviously favored the rich" and that "substitution probably caused more resentment than conscription itself." (6)
These conclusions are easily accepted, since the idea of someone paying another man to take his place in the military (and possibly die as part of the bargain) challenges twentieth- and twenty-first-century sensibilities. Additionally, the reliance on very small sample sizes--such as a few letters complaining about substitutions unfairness or a single military report recording the desertion of substitutes--is accepted in the absence of complete lists detailing the names of principals and substitutes. Given the sheer volume of Civil War correspondence, however, one can find letters supporting just about any contention regarding the war. Undoubtedly, substitution could and did cause anger and jealousy. Yet, at the same time, a more in-depth and nuanced examination of substitution in a single community can shed greater light on both principals and substitutes as well as on home- and battle-front reactions to these men.
In 2005, Mary L. Wilson published one of the few studies that examine a specific list of these men. Her article analyzing substitution in Walker's Texas Division does look at specific substitutes and principals (about 160 of each), but her work is primarily descriptive with its main body consisting of summaries of her charts detailing the wealth, occupations, ages, and birthplaces of both principals and substitutes. She simply concludes that "a wealthier group of men (the principals) hired men with fewer assets (the substitutes) to fight for them." Although her conclusion does not render much of a judgment on principals, her title, "Profiles in Evasion," implies that she accepts the argument that principals dodged service in the Confederate army and should be considered less-than-patriotic Confederates. (7)
Other historians have both criticized and moved away from the unsophisticated explanation that substitution by its very nature proved a class rift in the Confederacy and demonstrated a lack of Confederate patriotism. Their works correctly challenge some of the simplistic assumptions regarding substitution. Substitution has too often been portrayed purely as an unpatriotic alternative to army service, when it might better be seen as one of a number of possible alternatives. Other options available to potential conscripts included fleeing to enemy lines, faking illnesses, forging birth records, finding "bomb-proof" jobs, or hiding from conscript officers. Unlike men who pursued those alternatives, principals both followed the law and offered substitutes to serve in their places. In other words, if historians judge men who obeyed a Confederate law as unpatriotic or as practicing "evasion" they are setting an extraordinarily high standard for loyalty. If, instead, Confederate loyalty can be seen as a continuum ranging from eager 1861 volunteers to men who violently resisted Confederate rule, principals would probably lie closer to the former than the latter end of the spectrum. (8)
Of course, even if one accepts that principals possessed some degree of patriotism, this acknowledgment does not preclude the conclusion that substitution produced or added to class divisions within the Confederacy. Certainly, substitution infuriated some southerners and engendered resentment toward some principals. Yet, while substitution could add to class divisions, the evidence from Rockingham County indicates that a different conclusion can be drawn from the evidence as well. According to several recent studies, Civil War soldiers and their families associated their Confederate identity with the nation's ability to protect their home communities. For example, in his study of North Carolina yeomen, David Brown argues that "familial ties, community bonds, and the way in which war played out at the local level" were more important than any vague ideas of Confederate nationalism in understanding southerners' actions. This description holds true for the way southerners viewed conscription and substitution. Substitution played out at the local level, and therefore southerners' reactions to this policy depended upon their local conditions. (9)
Having some adult, white, male community members remain at home to help defend, feed, and supply these homes clearly improved local conditions. And, in counties such as Rockingham, which lacked large slave populations and consequently needed more white manpower to accomplish these tasks, a community could support principals as long as they acted in the its interest. In other words, principals would not be judged solely by their wealth and the fact that they had hired substitutes, but by what they supplied the community. Thus, in Rockingham, substitution served both as a way for men of means to avoid service on the front lines and as a method to provide service to the home front. Or, to use the terms of the fundamental historiographical debate, perhaps Rockingham's principals did not lack Confederate identity or patriotism, but simply displayed it in a different form than soldiers did.
An examination of Rockingham County's principals and substitutes not only demonstrates the difficulty of generalizing about substitution, but it also exposes the weaknesses in arguments that posit a static view of the system with a sense of neither place nor time. Geography, religion, slaveholding, the availability of substitutes, and the proximity of the enemy all played a role in how substitution functioned in a community, yet too few Civil War historians have appreciated these distinctions. Even class distinctions appear more complex upon closer examination. Attitudes could also change over time; some people who endorsed the practice in 1862 celebrated its end in early 1864. Unsurprisingly, Rockingham's principals came from wealthier families than did substitutes or even average Rockingham residents. Nevertheless, the number of principals, their attachment to and their role in the community, and anecdotal evidence of both in the weekly newspaper, the Rockingham Register and Virginia Advertiser, indicate that residents did not necessarily question the loyalty of these men nor did people universally condemn substitution. If the community accepted, for the most part, men who hired substitutes, it did not have the same attachment to men who served as substitutes. Generally, substitutes in Rockingham lacked a connection to the community. They served a purpose, but little evidence points to a sense that anyone believed in their loyalty to either the community or the Confederacy.
Identifying a typical Confederate county is, of course, impossible. Rockingham County possessed a combination of stereotypically southern traits as well as some that placed it outside the norm. It had prosperous farms, relatively few slaves, and a religiously diverse population. Nestled between Shenandoah and Augusta counties in the Shenandoah Valley, Rockingham shared the region's lukewarm attitude toward secession. The county supported northern Democrat Stephen A. Douglas with 46.4 percent of its vote in the 1860 presidential election (John Bell received 30.4 percent and John C. Breckinridge only 23.2 percent). It sent three unionist delegates to Virginia's secession convention, one of whom voted against the final secession ordinance. In the wake of secession, some men left the county and headed to Union lines and others fled to the mountains. Yet, during the war, the county endorsed the Confederacy by both having more than half its adult white male population serve in the army and serving as a key agricultural producer for the new nation. The county's value contributed to its wartime suffering. In 1862, Stonewall Jackson's Valley campaign brought two battles--Cross Keys and Port Republic--to Rockingham. Two years later, the county's residents again suffered, bearing the brunt of Philip Sheridan's efforts to lay waste to the valley. (10)
Rockingham's strategic location, bordering Unionist West Virginia and a logical avenue for moving troops, certainly contributed to its wartime miseries. Likewise, Rockingham's agricultural abundance added to its allure for both Union and Confederate forces. According to the 1860 agricultural census, Rockingham ranked fourth among Virginia's 148 counties in terms of value of livestock ($1,139,690); second in the value of animals slaughtered ($260,691); third in the amount of butter produced (427,593 pounds); fifth in both the cash value of its farms ($9,718,613) and in the amount of wheat produced (358,653 bushels). Moreover, Rockingham's agricultural wealth rested on middle-class farms rather than large plantations. While the county ranked either first or second among Virginia's counties in the number of farms of 20-49 acres, 50-99 acres, and 100-499 acres, it contained only sixteen farms larger than five hundred acres (ranking it seventieth among the state's counties). (11)
Additionally, while Rockingham possessed agricultural wealth, that wealth did not rest entirely on slavery. Only 420 of the county's 3,662 families (11.5 percent) owned slaves, and its 2,387 slaves constituted only 11 percent of the population, both numbers well below the state's averages. In Virginia as a whole, 25.9 percent of families owned slaves, and slaves comprised 30.7 percent of the population. Furthermore, only thirteen Rockingham slaveholders qualified as planters (using the general definition of a planter as one who owned twenty or more slaves), and, according to Locke's enrolling books, only one man, Charles D. Yancey, used the "Twenty-Negro" exemption to avoid conscription. (12)
All of Rockingham's atypical aspects regarding voting, battles, and agriculture paled in comparison to the county's unique religious makeup, which diverged sharply from the Confederate norm, a factor that played a direct role in the county's reaction to conscription. Rockingham possessed forty-one churches, with seating accommodations of 23,700 (which slightly exceeded the county's total population of 23,408). More important, it possessed four of the Confederacy's five Mennonite churches (the other one being in neighboring Augusta County) and nine of Virginia's thirty Dunker churches (the entire Confederacy possessed thirty-seven Dunker churches). Mennonites and Dunkers were pacifists, rejecting armed service. Gen. Stonewall Jackson acknowledged the problem with drafting members of these denominations, pointing out that while surely they "can be made to fire ... they can very easily take bad aim." Pvt. Christ Good concurred with Jackson's assertion. When asked by his captain why he had not fired his gun in a battle, this Mennonite succinctly confessed, "We don't shoot people." (13)
When Virginia began its state militia draft in 1861, both Mennonites and Dunkers wished to be considered conscientious objectors. By March 1862, primarily because of the intense lobbying of Rockingham County Dunker Elder John Kline, the Virginia legislature had granted this request, allowing members of these denominations to pay $500 plus 2 percent of the value of their assessed property to stay out of the militia. Unfortunately for these pacifists, less than a month after the passage of this state legislation, the Confederate Congress approved a national conscription act that made no provisions for conscientious objectors. Nevertheless, like anyone else, they could still avoid military service by providing substitutes. Unlike Quakers--their better-known pacifist counterparts--the Mennonites and Dunkers had no specific policies prohibiting purchasing a substitute. Historian Samuel Horst maintains that hiring substitutes "was quite common among Mennonites as well as Dunkers," and Rufus Bowman notes that among Dunkers "the discouragement against hiring substitutes was mild.'' (14)
Thus, in the summer of 1862, members of the two sects had to accept conscription, pay for a substitute, flee to the North, or hide from the army. Some members chose each of these routes, while others worked on securing conscientious objector status in the Confederacy. When the Confederate government revised its exemption and detail policy in October 1862, it included a provision allowing for members of these denominations to either provide a substitute or pay a $500 fine. According to Locke's Rockingham Enrolling Books, more chose the latter route, as 240 men (21.2 percent of the names in the enrolling book) who secured an exemption by paying a fine were listed as Dunkers or Mennonites. In a letter to fellow Dunkers published in the Gospel Visitor, Elder John Kline bemoaned the financial burden faced by those who had paid $600 to $1,500 for substitutes and now were trying to raise money to help others pay the $500 commutation fee. While it is unclear how many of the 326 principals were also conscientious objectors, fourteen of them have "exempt as Dunker" scribbled next to their names--a notation probably written in 1864 when principals were slated for conscription into the army. (15)
Of course, not only Dunkers and Mennonites but all Rockingham white men had to decide whether to enter into the service, try to find an exemption, pay for a substitute, or dodge the draft. In the first week of April 1862, when Rockingham faced a state rather than a federal draft, some militiamen, including many Dunkers, fled to the mountains pledging to fight their incorporation into Stonewall Jackson's army. In response, General Jackson ordered out infantry and some artillery pieces and quickly suppressed the so-called Blue Ridge Rebellion with one fatality and approximately two dozen arrests (estimates of the size of the rebellion range from sixty to five hundred men). Later that summer, possibly because the revolt had given him a negative impression of Rockingham, Jackson ordered the execution of four deserters, including two conscripts and one volunteer from Rockingham. In comparison, two groups of pacifists, rather than fight the draft, headed out of the county. Confederate soldiers captured a group of seventy men in present-day West Virginia and marched them to Libby Prison in Richmond. In a separate incident, eighteen other men attempting to flee the county were jailed in Harrisonburg, Rockingham's county seat. (16)
Additional accounts detail Rockingham men hiding in the woods, mountains, and farm buildings of the county. Reputedly, Simon Burkholder hid under his barn for eighteen months to avoid enrolling officers. Reaching conscription age during the war, Peter Hartman, along with his family, kept his age a secret. In his Reminiscences, Hartman described the onset of the 1861 state militia draft as the "period of hiding" for Mennonites. Other Mennonites operated the equivalent of an underground railroad, harboring deserters or draft evaders who were fleeing into West Virginia or Ohio. Jacob Geil purchased a postmaster position to use its exemption to avoid conscription. Some men remained at home protected by fraudulent substitute papers from nonexistent units. In his regimental history, a Wisconsin veteran recalled Dunkers emerging from the mountains when the Union army arrived in Rockingham, but these recusant conscripts retreated back to their hideouts when Union soldiers withdrew. In comparison to these truly unfaithful alternatives, providing a substitute looks much less disloyal than one might first assume. (17)
When an April 1862 visitor to Harrisonburg claimed that like "all the towns in this valley, but few males remain here," he clearly exaggerated. Not only did draft dodgers lurk in the woods, but there were a surprising number of conscience principals among Rockingham's principals. Most historians accept the estimate that approximately seventy thousand Confederates provided substitutes, that is, substitutes comprised somewhere between 7 and 10 percent of all Confederate soldiers. Examining Virginia by itself fails to clarify the number of substitutes. Confederate records in the National Archives indicate that 3,270 men provided substitutes, but a report from January 1864 in the Official Records estimates that Virginia had 15,000 substitutes. Joseph Glatthaar's recent work on Lee's army indicates that all of these figures might be far too high: he finds that only 0.5 percent of all soldiers in the Army of Northern Virginia were substitutes. (18)
In Rockingham County, substitution figures exceeded all of these percentages. Aaron Sheehan-Dean estimates that the county provided at least 2,598 Confederate soldiers (55 percent of its eligible population). Its 326 substitutes, therefore, represented 12.5 percent of that total (and 28.8 percent of the men who crossed Captain Locke's path). Why did Rockingham possess an above-average number of substitutes? Several explanations are possible. Some of the numbers involved in these calculations could be incorrect. To find the substitution percentage, one simply divides the number of substitutes by the total number of soldiers. Unfortunately, for local, state, and national figures, both of these numbers are primarily estimates. If one alters either number, the percentages can change fairly rapidly. (19) Nevertheless, despite the imprecision of these figures, Rockingham most likely possessed a disproportionate number of substitutes. A November 1863 issue of the Rockingham Register implied that the county had a reputation for providing too many substitutes. Rather than deny that Rockingham had a significant number of principals, the editor tried to deflect the charge by accusing neighboring counties of having even greater numbers of substitutes, asserting that one had provided over twelve hundred to the Confederate armies. (20)
Several variables that demonstrate the importance of studying substitution on a local level affected Rockingham substitution. First, as judged by its voting records in 1860 and 1861, Rockingham did not initially embrace secession or the Confederacy, so perhaps some men felt less of an obligation to serve in the Confederate army. There is little evidence to indicate, however, that the county possessed a significant unionist sentiment during the war. Second, clearly, the presence of religious objectors was a factor. Third, the lack of slave population might also have contributed to a higher number of substitutes in the Shenandoah Valley. Ironically, while substitution is often viewed in conjunction with the "Twenty-Negro" exemption as an avenue for wealthy planters to dodge army life, areas with lower concentrations of slaves might have had a greater desire for, and a greater toleration of, men who provided substitutes: they needed a white labor force to remain at home to farm and take care of soldiers' families.
These factors could work in tandem. In September 1861, Dunker minister Christian Wine wrote to Governor John Letcher trying to secure exemption for his son Daniel, who had been drafted into the Virginia militia. While Wine mentioned that his religious duties kept him away from home, he did not request exemption for his son based on religious scruples. Instead, he asked for an exemption on the grounds that he was a "common farmer" whose son "attends to a great part of my business." As it was planting season, "a great bulk of labor" was needed, but Minister Wine had no farm hands to do it. He asked if fines, taxes, or other monies
could be spent to help men who "desire so much to be at home and are so much needed by their families." Although there is no record of any response from Governor Letcher, Locke's Enrolling Books indicate that Daniel Wine provided a substitute for the Confederate army and therefore ended up at home on the family farm as his father wished. (21)
A desire to procure a substitute and even the having the means to do so, however, represented only part of the equation. Substitutes also had to be available for purchase. With the conscription law, which stipulated that only men ineligible for the draft could serve as substitutes, desiring a substitute did not equate to finding one. The pool of men over forty-five or boys under eighteen who wished to serve in the army and had the physical ability to withstand army life was limited. Men in Rockingham, however, had better access to eligible substitutes than most other Confederates. Potential principals here benefited both from the county's proximity to West Virginia and Maryland and from the presence of Irish railroad laborers. Men of all ages from both Maryland and West Virginia could serve as substitutes. Irish laborers presented a thornier problem; Confederate officials struggled to determine whether foreign-born men in southern states were aliens who had no intention of settling in the Confederacy (and thus could be substitutes) or were in the process of establishing a domicile (and thus were subject to conscription themselves). Although Rockingham possessed a foreign-born population of only 356 (less than 2 percent of its total population), this population was comprised disproportionately of male, military-age railroad laborers with limited financial means and strong claims to alien status. (22)
Like other purchasable commodities, substitutes entered the realm of advertising. The Rockingham Register provides some sense of the market: from summer 1862 through fall 1863, most issues of the newspaper contained one or two advertisements from men looking for substitutes and, more rarely, notices from men offering their services as substitutes. Tucked amid headlines such as "Negroes Wanted," "Horse Stolen," and "Best Tobacco in the Confederate States," most of the anonymous advertisements lack specificity, offering a "liberal price," a "good price" or a "high price" while encouraging those interested to inquire at the editor's office. In lieu of money, one potential principal even offered a horse, saddle, bridle, and a "splendid double-barreled shot gun." A few would-be principals did, however, provide more details, which indicate that the prices of substitutes increased as the war went on. On September 17, 1862, a man offered $800, three months later, the going price had escalated to $1,000 and a week later another offered $1,500 for a replacement. The few advertisements from substitutes generally offered no particulars; however, on July 11, 1862, D. A. Plecker declared that two men boarding with him wanted to serve as substitutes in a cavalry company. Perhaps Plecker himself took one of them up on their offer, for he is listed as a principal in Locke's enrolling books. Like Plecker's announcement, some prospective principals abandoned anonymity in their calls, as both C. Clinton Clapp and J. Pence included their names along with their higher-end prices ($1,000 and $1,500). Both men successfully hired substitutes. (23)
Census records support the contention that some principals could offer such prices, as their wealth exceeded that of both substitutes and the average county resident. Unquestionably, principals--or in some cases, principals' families--possessed above-average wealth. The enrolling officer did not record wealth directly, though he did note each principal's occupation. These occupations, however, do little to reveal wealth, since 246 of the principals (75.5 percent) were listed simply as "Farmers." Without mentioning the number of acres or slaves owned, this category cannot be used to determine a principal's economic status. The only other occupations listed more than ten times were "Farm Hand" (eighteen times) and "Merchant" (sixteen times). The latter designation, along with the three men who considered themselves "Gentlemen," are the only direct signals of wealth in Locke's enrolling books. In comparison, Locke recorded no information for the substitutes beyond their names and the units to which they were assigned. (24)
Thus, to better assess the wealth of principals and substitutes, I randomly selected two hundred men (one hundred principals and their substitutes) and attempted to locate them in the 1860 manuscript census. The principals divided into two categories--the forty-two who headed a household and the fifty-five who lived in someone else's house (I failed to locate three of the principals.) All evidence indicates that principals represented a vital, established part of the Rockingham community. First, finding ninety-seven percent of them in the 1860 census is itself remarkable, particularly when compared to the difficulty of finding their substitutes. Ninety-six of them lived in Rockingham in 1860, with only merchant C. Clinton Clapp living in Maryland. Clapp was one of only four principals born in Maryland; the rest listed Virginia as their birthplace. Second, all forty two of the heads of household possessed at least some personal wealth, and thirty of them possessed real estate wealth as well. Overall, these principals were only slightly wealthier than the neighbors. Their real estate wealth ranged from $200 to $18,000, with a mean of $4,466 (median $3,000). Their personal wealth ranged from $0 to $27,000 with a mean of $2,628 (median $1,450). Their real estate wealth easily exceeded Rockingham ($2,828.80) and Virginia ($2,455.79) family averages. Somewhat surprisingly, their personal estate wealth actually fell between the county ($1,836.88) and state ($2,919.20) averages. Third, these were family men with family responsibilities. All forty-two were married, and they had an average of 2.8 children. Only five did not have any children (three of these had other dependents, and one of them had been married less than a year.) They averaged 31.7 years of age in 1860, which would make them approximately thirty-four when conscripted into the Confederate army. (25)
The fifty-five men who provided substitutes but did not head their own households certainly took advantage of their families' wealth. In comparison to the heads of household, these men were younger (average age of 23.6, which would have made them approximately twenty-six when they provided substitutes), and they were less likely to be married. Only five of the fifty-five definitely had spouses and children, though it is possible that a few others did, too. As individuals, they had less wealth than principals who headed households. In fact, only thirteen listed personal wealth and only six listed real wealth. These numbers, however, did not indicate poverty, as the heads of households in which they lived (men headed forty-nine, and women headed six) owned an astounding average of $12,975 in real estate wealth (median $7,800) and $8,616 in personal wealth ($3,000 median). Each of these figures represents more than four times the county average in these categories.
In terms of personal wealth, the Kiser family stood near the top of this financial pyramid. Its patriarch, fifty-nine-year old merchant George Kiser, listed personal wealth of $31,800 along with real estate wealth of $7,000. Because his wealth was more liquid than the average southern farmer (for instance, no Kisers owned slaves in Rockingham), Kiser may have more easily secured exemptions for four young men in his household. He hired substitutes not only for his three sons--Jacob, Philander, and Pleasant--but also for his clerk, Aaron Shutters. Other families in this sample of one hundred principals also contained multiple principals. John Arehart ($20,350 in real estate) secured substitutes for his two sons, Isaac and Naason, and David Armentrout with $43,250 in real estate wealth did the same for his sons, John and Harrison. Furthermore, Madison Moore, John Rhodes, and Benjamin Huffman each also found substitutes for two of their sons.
At the same time, men of more modest wealth secured substitutes as well. One quarter of the principals and/or their families possessed wealth below the county averages. Relatives, friends, or employers beyond their immediate households could have aided these principals in securing substitutes. In the case of Dunkers and Mennonites, church collections helped pool assets to keep pacifists at home. In both of these instances, the support of people outside of one's home demonstrates the communal nature of substitution. The image of principals as idle, wealthy men ignoring their yeomen neighbors is contradicted by principals such as thirty-eight-year-old Benjamin Trumbo. In 1860, Trumbo, a farmer who possessed only $600 in real estate wealth and $2,654 in personal wealth, managed to find enough money to purchase a substitute, so he could take care of his wife and six children (three boys and three girls--the eldest, his twelve-year-old son Zacharia). Similarly, thirty-two-year-old Isaac Wampler, who most likely was a Dunker, managed to procure a substitute despite owning no real estate and having only $800 in personal wealth. Listed in the census as a farmer, Wampler had little money, but he had a wife, three children under the age of four, and extensive family connections in the county (the census lists sixty Wamplers living in Rockingham).
In examining wealth in the Civil War South, one must also consider the ownership of slaves. Again, in this category, principals' families demonstrated their affluence. While only 11.5 percent of Rockingham families owned slaves, twenty-seven percent of the principals in the sample belonged to slaveholding families. These families owned on average 8.2 slaves, in comparison with the county average of 5.7 slaves per slaveholder. As with real estate and personal wealth, the individual principals varied considerably. George Fraley, Daniel Wine, and Daniel Huffman each owned a single slave. In contrast, three principals (Philip Eastham, George Chrisman, and Jacob Miller) lived in plantation households. While only Eastham personally owned a slave, their families owned thirty-seven, twenty, and forty-one slaves respectively, making them three of the thirteen planter families in Rockingham. At the same time, not owning slaves, like not possessing a significant amount of real estate or personal wealth, did not prevent men from affording substitutes. Of the principals' families, 70 percent did not own slaves, and ten of Rockingham's thirteen planter families did not include principals. (26)
Whereas the principals represented solid Rockingham stock, their substitutes lived on the invisible margins of society or at least beyond the margins of Rockingham County. (27) As if to emphasize this point, Captain Locke gave the substitutes less attention in his enrolling books. Where he carefully described the principals' height, weight, age, occupation, and assorted other information et cetera, he merely listed the substitutes' names. That lack of information makes finding census mentions of these exact men difficult, but it is not the greatest impediment to locating them. In many cases, no one matching a particular name lived anywhere in the United States in 1860, and in most cases (at least two-thirds) a specific name clearly corresponded to no one in Rockingham County. One explanation for substitutes' absence from the census is that these men may have employed aliases, especially if they had already deserted and/or sold their services, or if they intended to do so in the future. While the major difficulty in searching for principals often stemmed from trying to decide which of the many Armentrouts, Lineaweavers, Rhodes, or Zirkles matched the man in question, it was challenging to find substitutes when most frequently no one with their surnames lived in Rockingham.
When the names did match, the evidence suggests that substitutes were not well-established members of the Rockingham community. Based on census information or on the names themselves, as many as one quarter of the substitutes may have been born abroad, primarily in Ireland. The 1860 census listed Redmond Burk, John Conners, James Conner, Jeremiah Sullivan, Jeremiah McCarty, and John Lynch as Irish-born railroad laborers. By 1863, these men had all embarked on more lucrative "careers" as Confederate substitutes. And, at a time when the army paid privates $11 month ($132 per year), the $1,000 or more one could earn as a substitute represented more money than most laborers might otherwise see in a decade. Other census evidence suggests that Rockingham's substitutes came from Maryland, neighboring counties in West Virginia, and even Washington, D.C.
Thomas M. Spratt's Rockingham County Men in Gray offers further insight into principals' and substitutes' attachments to Rockingham. In the 1990s, in an effort to help genealogists, he compiled a roster of Confederate soldiers born in Rockingham, those "known to reside in the County, before, during or after the war," and those who were married or died in the county. In other words, if a soldier served in a unit raised in the county but did not reside in the county prior to or after the war, he was not included in this book. Each record also includes brief notes on whether the soldier died, deserted, or otherwise left the service. Thus, it represents another way of assessing principals' and substitutes' connections to Rockingham. One might expect more substitutes to appear in Spratt's work because they certainly served in the army, whereas some men who provided substitutes would have never taken up arms, either finding a different exemption or escaping the conscript net entirely. Yet, of the one hundred substitutes and one hundred principals I examined, only fourteen substitutes appear in this work, while forty-nine of the principals appear. Even accounting for omissions, Rockingham County Men in Gray clearly implies that the majority of substitutes could not be described as "Rockingham men." (28)
Throughout the Confederacy, critics of substitution worried about the loyalty of these outsiders who served only for money, fearing that they did not have the same attachment to the Confederacy that volunteers did. According to Rockingham County Men in Gray, the Kiser brothers' two substitutes "deserted the next night." And in a November 1862 report, Col. John C. Shields, the commandant of conscripts in Virginia, complained that four-fifths of the 140 deserters from his camp were substitutes who had fled the army within twenty-four hours of their induction. In another instance, a Rockingham soldier complained that substitutes represented "the paupers and discarded of creation." The editor of the Rockingham Register, in explaining why he believed former soldier Abraham Smith's death was a suicide, not a murder, listed serving as a substitute alongside alcoholism and domestic difficulties as character flaws that made suicide more likely. Some classified advertisements calling for substitutes implied that the principals would not accept just anyone (which more likely meant that their commanding officers would not accept just anyone). Two would-be principals requested men over forty-five, while another explicitly asked for "a Virginian by birth." A third notice stressed the necessity of a "good able bodied man" while another echoed this phrase and added "none other need apply." (29)
In the back of his Rockingham enrolling books, Locke preserved transcripts of correspondence from the Conscript Office and the Camp of Instruction in Richmond. This material, too, demonstrates the distrust of substitutes and the problems with abuses of the system. Orders instructed enrolling officers that substitutes could not enter Partisan Ranger companies, that units could only accept one substitute per month, and that by May 1863 no one ranked lower than a general could authorize a substitution. Fraudulent substitution papers presented another vexing problem. In February 1863, the Conscript Office alerted officers to the "large number of irregular and bogus substitute papers in circulation." Seven months later, the admonition was more specific. Warning that "the evil of fraudulent substitution" had deprived the army of many soldiers, it advised officers to be on the alert for substitution papers bearing the signatures of officers killed in battle. In October, more letters arrived listing specific regiments whose substitution papers should not be trusted and finally requiring enrolling officers to collect all substitution papers and forward them to Richmond so the conscript office could verify each case individually. (30)
While principals did not automatically receive censure from the community, they did not automatically qualify as Confederate patriots either. Rockingham residents did not necessarily endorse the idea of their wealthier neighbors buying their way out of the army simply because they had followed the laws and were established community members. The soldier who decried substitutes as "the discarded of creation" also urged women to send petticoats to their cowardly principals. In 1864, in the most extreme case, Confederate bushwhackers ambushed and murdered Dunker Elder John Kline, whom they considered a unionist. Kline had collected money to purchase substitutes for his coreligionists and had lobbied for exemptions for conscientious objectors. Other circumstantial evidence indicates that men recognized that providing a substitute was not the moral equivalent of serving in the Confederate army. For instance, the editor placed almost all classified advertisements calling for substitutes at the very bottom of the newspaper, and almost all of the requests were anonymous, simply directing interested men to inquire at the newspaper office. (31)
Additionally, men who remained at home, whether principals or those who held other exemptions, were sensitive to charges that they were speculators exploiting soldiers' families. Worried that the Confederacy might change its laws regarding conscientious objectors, valley Dunkers went to Richmond to remind congressmen that they had "lived as loyal citizens complying with every requirement of the law." The Dunkers stressed that a single Botecourt County farm using just one principal, one religious exemption, and their boys, had produced over 1,100 bushels of wheat, 1,200 bushels of corn, 4,500 pounds of pork, and 4,500 pounds of beef. And if the laws changed to force conscientious objectors into the army, they threatened to abandon their loyalty to the Confederacy and flee to Union lines. Other principals pledged that they would not raise their prices even in the face of rampant inflation across the Confederacy. In December 1862, the Rockingham Register praised John Zigler, a Dunker who had provided a substitute, for selling his leather at one dollar per pound to "his suffering fellow country men," rather than selling it for 80 percent more, a price that speculators had offered him. (32)
In praising Zigler, the Register demonstrated that not all men who remained at home would be judged equally. Principals who patriotically served the community received encomiums, while others might be met with disdain. Four months later, the newspaper's editor angrily responded to rumors that pacifistic Germans had refused to raise bread and meat for troops. The Rockingham Register did not specify whether these men had purchased substitutes or paid a fine to gain conscientious objector status; regardless, its declaration that "men who will not serve the great cause ... ought to be put in the front ranks of our armies" makes it clear that the newspaper would assess military-age men on the home front based upon their actions, not simply on their presence at home while others served in the military. The statement also implied that Rockingham residents recognized that men could "serve the great cause" without being in the military if they provided another service, such as growing food. Historians of conscription should recognize this service as well. (33)
Other signs support the argument that contemporaries recognized that loyalty extended beyond military service. S. S. Baxter, a Richmond judge who examined the seventy Rockingham residents who fled to enemy lines in April 1862, acknowledged a broad definition of loyalty. His report pointed out that "some of them had made exertions to procure substitutes. One man had sent the money to Richmond to hire a substitute.... All of them are friendly to the South." Following Baxter's report, the Confederate Congress debated the status of conscientious objectors. One secondhand account reported that Congress concluded that these men "raise more grain to the hand than any farmers we have ... we need them at home as much as in the Army." Even the notoriously inflexible Stonewall Jackson did not decry conscientious objectors who used substitutes, and he expressed a willingness to employ as teamsters those pacifists unable to provide substitutes. (34)
In fact, turning the traditional view of principals on its head, some evidence indicates that providing a substitute itself could be considered patriotic. An underlying assumption of both contemporaries and historians who criticize principals is that only their ability to pay for substitutes kept them out of the army. Some men, however, provided substitutes even though the law did not require them to do so. In other words, these men could have avoided service by claiming another exemption but instead decided to contribute a body to the Confederate army. One Rockingham classified advertisement seeking a substitute described the principal as "A Gentlemen not subject to military duty." It appears this Rockingham principal was not alone in his ineligibility for service. For instance, fifty-one of the one hundred principals that I examined do not appear in the Rockingham Men in Gray, which leads one to conclude that some of them had other avenues to avoid the army. For example, if a principal owned a mill, he would have been exempt from the army on two grounds: either providing a substitute or mill ownership. When such a principal was drafted, he was exempt as miller. Thus, his prior providing of a substitute would have demonstrated a commitment to the Confederate cause--using his money to pay a man to serve when such action was unnecessary. Less speculatively, at least two men--Philip Eastham and George Chrisman--purchased substitutes despite qualifying for exemption through their families' ownership of twenty or more slaves. (35)
The ending of substitution in 1864 brought a mixed reaction in Rockingham County. While the Rockingham Register praised the new military bill's boldness, two letters to the editor were less complimentary. One summed up the conflicting views of substitution. Its title, "How Are We to Feed the Army and the People?" highlighted the valuable services that principals had provided the community and predicted suffering with their entry into the army. At the same time, it admitted that other principals "are doing us as much harm as the public enemy" by engaging in speculation. The other letter unequivocally decried the new law, claiming it would lead to starvation on the home front and in the army. A North Carolina soldier serving in the valley concurred. Writing to his father, he exclaimed, "Much excitement is caused by the Military Bill lately passed ... as but little slave labor is employed [in the Shenandoah Valley], many farms are left with no one to work on; it is a great pity as this country is very productive, and yields a large amount of produce of various kinds for the army." (36)
Despite the law's stipulation that all principals enter the army, it is clear that not all of them did. Some quickly found other ways to avoid the conscript net. Others considered fleeing the area. Serving in the army, Gabriel Shank expressed concern that his brother David would take this second option. In a letter to his wife, Gabriel expressed hope that David would find a way to remain at home and take care of their parents but contended that he "would a thousand times rather for him to join the army than to go to the enemy." In the postscript to this letter written the following day, Gabriel expressed relief that David had decided to join the army if not exempted rather than do "something disgraceful to himself and friends." Gabriel Shank made a sharp distinction between the actions he viewed as "disgraceful." While deserting to the enemy clearly merited this appellation, Shank did not see his brother's prior hiring of a substitute or his possible securing an exemption as disloyal actions. (37)
Shanks opinion that serving as a principal was not disloyal found confirmation from an unlikely source: the U.S. government. In the 1870s, some residents of Rockingham County filed claims with the Southern Claims Commission to gain reimbursement for goods furnished to or taken by the Union army during the Civil War. Rockingham claimants included the following principals: Jacob Harshbarger, who requested $1,690.25 primarily for the loss of eleven horses; Joseph Kline, who asked for $206.33 for the loss of livestock; Jonas Early, who wanted $33.75 to compensate for seized corn; Noah Flory, who demanded $1,124.95 for livestock, corn, and bacon; and Samuel Zigler, who claimed $415 for horses and cows. The commission, however, did not compensate all southerners, only unionists, so in addition to detailing their losses, southerners had to prove their allegiance to the United States. (38)
In trying to substantiate their loyalty, these five Rockingham men emphasized their avoidance of Confederate military service. Nevertheless, the first four men admitted hiring substitutes for the Confederate army or militia, while Zigler acknowledged providing a substitute for his son. Unfortunately for these five men and all other principals, the Southern Claims Commission summarily rejected the claims of anyone who had employed a substitute. In disallowing Joseph Kline's petition, the commission steadfastly maintained that "personal service in the ranks of the rebel army was an act of disloyalty, and furnishing a substitute to the service was of precisely the same nature and character, and we must so hold; else the rich man who is able to furnish a substitute for the rebel ranks may be regarded as loyal, while the poor man who is not able to pay for a substitute, but goes himself, is held to be disloyal." (39)
The Southern Claims Commission contrasted principals with men who harbored deserters, hid in the woods to avoid conscription, or found other methods to evade army life. While the commission equated principals and soldiers, scholars, ironically, have often come to precisely the opposite conclusion, positing principals as disloyal southerners who used their wealth to dodge service to the Confederacy and whose actions received censure from true Confederates. Unlike these historians, principals' contemporaries, however, recognized that loyalty could be expressed in multiple ways, with the shouldering of a rifle only the most obvious.
In Rockingham County, Virginia, evidence indicates that men who supplied substitutes did not automatically receive a rebuke from fellow Confederates. If principals provided a community service, their presence at home did not immediately disqualify them from being considered loyal Confederates. Indeed, principals could be farmers feeding the community, tradesmen helping soldiers' families, men whose religious scruples kept them out of the army, or men who had other exemptions but wished to contribute to the Confederate army. Principals' families possessed above average wealth, but, a lack of wealth did not prevent others from hiring substitutes with the help of extended family, friends, or co-religionists. Having read all the newspapers, many of the personal narratives, the conscription records, and the key local histories, scant evidence appears that this wealth in and of itself engendered class dissension in the county.
This analysis of Rockingham County serves as a necessary corrective to an image of principals as healthy, young, rich men who remained at home taking advantage of loyal Confederates, while sending old, sickly bounty jumpers off to the army in their places. Although substitution elsewhere in the Confederacy might not correspond precisely to substitution in the Shenandoah Valley, all evidence indicates that categorizations of principals as evaders and cowards who should be considered alongside deserters and Unionists are flawed or at least overly simplistic. Undoubtedly, the Southern Claims Commission's view of principals as "precisely the same nature and character" as soldiers is an exaggeration. Nevertheless, while providing a substitute did not automatically prove Confederate loyalty, it did not automatically preclude it either. In sum, principals could be patriotic Confederates.
(1.) Circular #7, Jan. 16, 1864, William H. Crank letter, Jan. 27, 1864, and enrollment lists all in Rockingham Enrolling Books, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia (hereafter VHS). The 1,132 men represent approximately one quarter of Rockingham's 4,753 draft-age men. The 4,753 figure is taken from an e-mail from Aaron Sheehan-Dean to the author, May 6, 2008.
(2.) Rockingham Enrolling Books, VHS.
(3.) Rockingham Enrolling Books, VHS.
(4.) For a copy of the conscription law see The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1880-1901), ser. 4, vol. 1, 1095-1100 (hereafter cited as OR). For the best discussions of the alterations in Confederate conscription laws see Albert Burton Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy (1924; repr., Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1996) and William L. Shaw, "The Confederate Conscription and Exemption Acts," American Journal of Legal History 6 (1962): 368-405. Enacted in 1863, the Union draft also included a substitution provision but, unlike the Confederate draft, added a $300 commutation fee to prevent prices for substitutes from rising too high. For substitution in the Union draft see Eugene C. Murdock, One Million Men: The Civil War Draft in the North (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1971), 178-96.
(5.) Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, 27-51.
(6.) Bell Irvin Wiley, The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (1943; repr., Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 2005), 125, 127; Paul D. Escott, After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1978), 117; Lowell H. Harrison, "Conscription in the Confederacy," Civil War Times Illustrated 9 (July 1970): 12, 13; David Williams, Rich Man's War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley (Athens: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1998), 129; David Williams, A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom (New York: New Press, 2006), 102-3. For his 90 percent figure, Williams cites an awkwardly worded sentence in Moore, Conscription and Conflict (41), which cites a report (OR, ser. 4, vol. 2:940) that indicates that 5 to 10 percent of all Confederate soldiers were substitutes but does not even address the proclivity of substitutes to avoid service in the army.
(7.) Mary L. Wilson, "Profiles in Evasion: Civil War Substitutes and the Men Who Hired Them in Walker's Texas Division," East Texas Historical Journa1 43 (Spring 2005): 25-38 (quote, 34).
(8.) For an example of this interpretation of conscription see William Blair, Virginia's Private War: Feeding Body and Soul in the Confederacy, 1861-1865 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998), esp. 58-60.
(9.) David Brown, "North Carolinian Ambivalence: Rethinking Loyalty and Disaffection in the Civil War Piedmont," in North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction, ed. Paul Escott (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2008), 9. Aaron Sheehan-Dean makes a similar point regarding the connection between home and battle front in Virginia in Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2007).
(10.) John W. Wayland, A History of Rockingham County, Virginia (Dayton, Va.: Ruebush-Elkins, Co., 1912), 127-50. The county did, however, vote overwhelmingly in favor of secession in May 1861: 3,012 in favor, 22 against. According to Wayland, the county also laid claim to being the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln's father, and some of Lincoln's relatives remained within its borders. For an excellent discussion of the secession crisis in the Shenandoah Valley see Daniel W. Crofts, Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1989).
(11.) For agricultural wealth, see Agriculture of the United States in 1860, Eighth Census (Washington, D.C., 1864), 154-65.
(12.) For slaveholding, see Historical Census Data, http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/ censusbin/census/cen.pl?year=860. For Yancey, see Rockingham Enrolling Books, VHS. According to the 1860 census and slaveholding schedules, Yancey, a thirty-three-year-old man, owned twenty slaves. He lived in a household headed by Lucinda Yancey (possibly his widowed mother), who also owned sixteen slaves.
(13.) Church data taken from Eighth Census of the United States, 481-84; OR, set. 1, vol. 12, 3:835; Christ Good quote in Christian B. Keller, "Pennsylvania and Virginia Germans during the Civil War: A Brief History and Comparative Analysis," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 109, no. 1 (2001): 73. Dunkers, who practiced three-time immersion baptism, were also referred to as Tunkers, Dunkards, and Brethren.
(14.) James O. Lehman and Steven M. Nolt, Mennonites, Amish and the American Civil War (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2007), esp. 56-75; Roger E. Sappington, ed., The Brethren in the New Nation: A Source Book on the Development of the Church of the Brethren, 1785-1865 (Elgin, Ill.: Brethren Press, 1976), 339-47; Samuel Horst, Mennonites in the Confederacy: A Study in Civil War Pacifism (Scottsdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1967), esp. 26-29, 39-43, 70-80; Rufus D. Bowman, The Church of the Brethren and War, 1708-1941 (1944; repr., New York: Garland Publishing, 1971), 119.
(15.) John Kline letter in Bowman, Church of the Brethren and War, 133; Lehman and Nolt, Mennonites, Amish, and American Civil War, 60-69; Rockingham Enrolling Books, VHS. The Enrollment Books do not distinguish between Dunkers and Mennonites.
(16.) James I. Robertson, Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend (New York: Macmillan, 1997), 351; Jedediah Hotchkiss, Make Me a Map of the Valley: The Civil War Journal of Stonewall Jackson's Topographer (Dallas, Tex.: Southern Methodist Univ. Press, 1971), 16-17; Lehman and Nolt, Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War, 63-65; Peter S. Carmichael, "So Far from God and So Close to Stonewall Jackson: The Executions of Three Shenandoah Valley Soldiers," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 111, no. 1 (2003): 33-66. In some accounts, the Blue Ridge Rebellion is called the Rockingham Rebellion, and in some accounts the pacifists were jailed in Castle Thunder rather than Libby Prison.
(17.) Lehman and Nolt, Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War, 66-69; Horst, Mennonites in the Confederacy, 39-43; Peter S. Hartman, Reminiscences of the Civil War (Lancaster, Pa.: Eastern Mennonite Associated Libraries and Archives, 1964), 8-13; John C. Shields and James Binford to J. D. H. Ross, Feb. 23, 1863, Shields to J. S. Byers, Sept. 16, 1863, both in Rockingham Enrolling Books, VHS; Edwin E. Bryant, History of the Third Regiment of Wisconsin Veteran Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1865 (Madison: Veteran Association of the Regiment, 1891), 51.
(18.) Gary W Gallagher, ed., The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2003), 95; Joseph T. Glatthaar, "Everyman's War: A Rich Man and Poor Man's Fight in Lees Army," Civil War History 54 (Sept. 2008): 239. For a discussion of the total number of substitutes, see Moore, 40; OR, ser. 4, vol. 2:940, vol. 3:96-97. For Virginia, see Confederate Records Relating to Conscription, vol. 250, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
(19.) For a discussion of enrollment in Virginia counties, see Aaron Sheehan-Dean, "Everyman's War: Confederate Enlistment in Civil War Virginia," Civil War History 50 (Mar. 2004): 5-26. For the specific Rockingham numbers, e-mail from Aaron Sheehan-Dean to author, May 6, 2008. The 2,598 figure, according to Sheehan-Dean, probably underestimates Rockingham enrollment, since it includes men who enrolled in the county but not those who enrolled in neighboring counties.
(20.) Rockingham Register, Nov. 20, 1863. Most likely, the editor referred directly to Augusta County, for that county's newspaper soon published an article contending it did not have 1,200 to 1,500 substitutes but instead possessed fewer than 400. Staunton Spectator, Dec. 15, 1863.
(21.) Christian Wine to Governor Letcher, Sept. 1, 1861, in Sappington, Brethren in the New Nation, 343.
(22.) For foreign population in Rockingham, see Historical Census Data, http://fisher.lib. virginia.edu/cgi-local/censusbin/census/cen.pl?year=860; Ella Lonn, Foreigners in the Confederacy (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1940), 383-416.
(23.) Rockingham Register and Virginia Advertiser, July 11, Aug. 22, Sept. 5, 19, 26, Oct. 10, Nov. 7, 14, Dec. 26, 1862, Jan. 2, 1863. Substitute prices in Rockingham never approached the $5,000 or $10,000 figures often quoted in discussions of Confederate substitution.
(24.) Rockingham Enrolling Books, VHS.
(25.) All manuscript census material for this and subsequent paragraphs obtained from www. ancestry.com. All other information on principals and substitutes from Rockingham Enrolling Books, VHS. All comparative county and state information from Historical Census Data, http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/censusbin/census/cen.pl?year=860.
(26.) 8.2 slaves represent the mean, with 6 slaves as the median. The percentages of principals owning (27) and not owning (70) do not include the 3 percent not found in the census.
(27.) My intention was to find the substitutes in the census and compare them to the principals. However, in almost 70 percent of the cases, connecting the substitute's name to a specific person was impossible, thus making comparisons useless.
(28.) Thomas M. Spratt, Rockingham County Men in Gray, 2 vols. (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Publishing, 1995), 1:ix.
(29.) Spratt, Rockingham County Men in Gray, 1:215; Rockingham Register, June 27, 1862, June 5, 26, 1863, Jan. 2, 1863, July 18, 1862. Abraham Smith's suicide in January 2, 1863, edition of the Rockingham Register; OR, ser. 4, vol. 2:171.
(30.) Order from May 28, 1863, Order from J. C. Shields, Dec. 12, 1862, Jas. H. Binford to Capt. J. S. Byers, Sept. 12, 1863, Shields and Binford to J. D. H. Ross, Feb. 23, 1863, Shields to Byers, Sept. 16, 1863, Circular, Oct. 13, 1863; Byers to County Enrolling Officers, Oct. 24, 1863, all in Rockingham Enrolling Books, VHS.
(31.) Rockingham Register, Dec. 12, 1862; D. H. Zigler, History of the Brethren in Virginia (Elgin, Ill.: Brethren Publishing House, 1914), l07. Born in 1797, Kline was too old to face conscription himself.
(32.) Rockingham Register, Dec. 12, 1862; Zigler, History of the Brethren in Virginia, 139-40. Botetourt County was in the Shenandoah Valley, three counties away from Rockingham. The petition actually reads that the farm had "one substitute" rather than "one principal." However, based on the context of the petition, the authors clearly meant "one principal." The newspaper does not identify him as a principal but does label him a Dunker.
(33.) Rockingham Register, Mar. 4, 1863. My conclusion supports Joseph T. Glatthaar's contention that soldiers did not complain about the all the rich, instead "their target was speculators at home." See Glatthaar, "Everyman's War," 244.
(34.) S. S. Baxter Report in OR, ser. 2, vol. 3:835; Sappington, Brethren in the New Nation, 380; Jackson view in OR, ser. 1, vol. 12, 3:835.
(35.) Rockingham Register, Aug. 22, 1862. For a similar argument, see Blair, Feeding Body and Soul, 59, 83. It is possible that Eastham and Chrisman purchased substitutes between the enactment of conscription in April 1862 and the introduction of the slaveholding exemption in Oct. 1862. Only one man employed the "Twenty-Negro" exemption even though at least thirteen Rockingham slaveholders qualified for it. Similarly, only three men were detailed as overseers.
(36.) Rockingham Register, Jan. 29, 1864; Charlie Frederic Bahnson to Father, Feb. 25, 1864, in Bright and Gloomy Days: The Civil War Correspondence of Captain Charles Frederic Bahnson, A Moravian Confederate, ed. Sarah Bahnson Chapman (Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2003), 111.
(37.) Gabriel Shank to Annie Shank, Jan. 30, 1864, Gabriel Shank and Aldine Kieffer Collection, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ ~varockin/shank/Shank_Kieffer.htm (accessed May 16, 2009).
(38.) Records of the U.S. House of Representatives; Southern Claims Commission, 1871-80, National Archives & Records Administration microfilm P2257, claims #2550, 2564, 2567, 2575, 8198; viewed at Rockingham Claims Denied, http://www.rootsweb. ancestry.com/~varockin/ SCC1.htm (accessed Apr. 26, 2009).
(39.) Southern Claims Commission, 1870-80, claim #2550.
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|Date:||Jun 1, 2011|
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