1861-1866. Manuscript record of the volunteers for the Union Army from Canton Township during the Civil War. Three-quarter leather (rubbed; chipping to spine ends) and plain grey cloth boards. 8vo. 24 pp. of roster notes and lists. The remainder of the record book is blank. The record keeper has penned a dedication page: "By common admiration we love to record the deeds of the brave... Patriotism of Country is the heroic virtue we nationally and personally cherish... The following facts simply proposes to credit patriotism to where it rightfully belongs, and keep in holy remembrance those whose dareing [sic] & sacrifice have endeared them to ourselves and common humanity."
The first five pages list 18 men from Canton Township, their volunteer regiments (the 100th Round Head Regt., the First Virginia Cavalry Regt., the Ringold Battalion, the 85th Pa. Regt., etc.), dates of enlistment and re-enlistment. Three of the men died in service, one from pneumonia, one in a hospital at Baltimore. Subsequent pages are enrollment lists, consisting of 37 names of men in the First Class, "All persons between the ages of 20 to 35, and unmarried between 35 & 45;" and 21 names in the Second Class, "All persons over 35 and married and under 45." Several names in the First Class list were marked with the letter "D" to indicate they had been drafted.
Following those lists are the names of men called in the First, Second and Third Draft, with notes beside their names stating "discharged" for inability, "released" for being the support of aged parents, "filled by procuring substitutes...," etc. More names are listed in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Drafts, and mention is made of paying an E. McBurney $80 for procuring men. A levy of taxes was passed by the local school board to pay bounties to volunteers in 1864, and 3pp. are devoted to accounting for that tax. More money was raised by subscription and a bond to finance President Lincoln's call for another 300,000 men in the Sixth Draft. The township sent a committee to New Brighton and Pittsburgh to fill their quota of eight men, at a cost of approximately $625 per man. A list of the subscribers to the bounty fund and their contribution amounts is given. Item #62142
The Enrollment Act, passed in March 1863, required enrollment of all eligible male citizens between the ages of 20 and 45 to fill the ranks of the Union Army as original enlistments expired. Each congressional district was then assigned a quota for the several Presidential draft calls for fresh troops. Options for those drafted included obtaining exemptions for physical or mental reasons, claiming sole support of a needy family member, paying a substitute, paying a commutation fee, or simply disappearing. One man listed in this Canton Township record book is listed as having "never reported." According to James McPherson in his book "Battle Cry of Freedom [NY: 1988], p.601: "Of the 207,000 men who were drafted, 87,000 paid the commutation fee and 74,000 furnished substitutes, leaving only 46,000 who went personally into the army. The pool of substitutes was furnished by eighteen- and nineteen-year olds and by immigrants who had not filed for citizenship, who were not liable to conscription." McPherson also notes that "numerous cities and counties appropriated funds raised by property taxes to pay the $300 for those who could not afford it."