When the Civil War erupted in April 1861, many on both sides of the conflict had expected it to be a short-lived war. But nearly two years later, after several big battles and horrific numbers of casualties, President Abraham Lincoln was compelled to sign the first Enrollment Act — instituting the first wartime draft in American history on March 3, 1863. The move 150 years ago during the Civil War was a controversial step. But the conflict was dragging on far longer than any had expected and the Union wasn’t raising enough troops for combat by other means. Thus, Lincoln needed more manpower for the fight, much as the Confederacy did in resorting to a draft months earlier. The act required enrollment of every male citizen ages 20-45, with certain exemptions, and male immigrants of that age who had signed intent of becoming U.S. citizens. Nonetheless, exemptions from the draft could be bought for $300 each draft period, or by finding a substitute draftee. Those exemptions would lead to violent riots for days in July 1863 in New York City, when the first inductees were called. Fueling the draft riots was widespread outrage that such exemptions could only be afforded by the wealthy, making the conflict a “poor man’s fight.” Months later, the $300 “commutation fee” would be repealed by Congress. The Associated Press reports more fighting, near Franklin, Tenn., as 2,000 rebels are repelled by Union forces and compelled to retreat. AP reporters 70 prisoners have been seized by Union forces in Tennessee and some were being kept under heavy guard in shackles on suspicion of “murder” in the death of Union soldiers elsewhere.
Lincoln signs Enrollment Act to draft new troops
This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Dec. 8
The Associated Press reported 150 years ago this week in the Civil War that Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet was in retreat after abandoning his siege of Knoxville, Tenn.
This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Dec. 1
Confederate James Longstreet abandoned his attempted siege of Knoxville, Tenn., on Dec. 4, 1863, withdrawing from the area after his failed bid to weaken the Union’s growing grip on the state.
Apple pie has no place at Thanksgiving
It's practically a law that in late November, every publication must offer a Thanksgiving guide. This year, I would like to draw your attention to two exceptional ones.
'Nutcracker 2013' to hit the stage
For more than 20 years the “Nutcracker” ballet has been a tradition during the holiday season for the Northwest Georgia region.
This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Nov. 24
This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, Union troops scaled Lookout Mountain southwest of federally held Chattanooga, Tenn., and ousted Confederates dug in with artillery on the heights.
Much to enjoy in VW's CC luxury sedan
The 2013 VW CC is not for everyone. The entry-level luxury sedan is perhaps too refined to fall into the Volkswagen stable. It might be more at home in an autobahn environment with flashing LED lights in the passing lane.
Chevrolet Traverse crossover has substantial feel, new equipment
If I'm buying a crossover vehicle with three rows of seats, there's one question at the top of my mind: Will I feel safe putting my family in this car?
This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Nov. 17
President Abraham Lincoln delivered the “Gettysburg Address” on Nov. 19, 1863, at the Gettysburg battlefield, one of the most famous addresses by a politician in American history.
Chester V. Clark III: Practicing Thanksgiving
This is a favorite time of year for me. With the crisp air of fall around, the crunch of colorful leaves beneath and the smell of fresh picked apples from the north Georgia mountains in my home, it’s hard to not be thankful for God’s many blessings.
Cast of ‘Overdue’ features Dalton State students and faculty
Overdue,” a student-penned comedy, will make its world debut today in the Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall at Dalton State College.
- More Features Headlines
- This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Dec. 8