Item #18701 A 22 Year Old African American Soldier fights in the Civil War as a substitute for white cotton merchant. Civil War African American.

A 22 Year Old African American Soldier fights in the Civil War as a substitute for white cotton merchant

DS - Document Signed

(MILITARY--CIVIL WAR.) Certificate issued to a Memphis man who hired a Black substitute named Henry Porter assigned to the 88th Regiment of US Col. Infantry to avoid the draft. 2 pages, each about 10 x 8 inches, signed by various officers; folds, minor wear. Memphis, TN, 28 January and 15 February 1865. In March 1863, U.S. Congress passed the Enrollment Act authorizing a national draft. Drafted or enrolled men of means could hire substitutes to serve in their stead. Many substitutes were African Americans fleeing war or slavery and seeking a source of income and citizenship. Lincoln’s formal Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863 decreed that all persons held as slaves within a state in rebellion against the U.S. were freed,The Proclamation also declared that those freed people would “be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.” The 1863 Enrollment Act repealed the earlier ban on obtaining substitutes to serve in place of those not wanting to fight in the northern army. The Act authorized “any person to furnish an acceptable substitute to take his place.” The Act limited the amount paid to a substitute to $300. Also, conscientious objectors could pay a $300.00 commutation fee to avoid service. The $300 cap was intended to keep the price of substitutes within the means of many drafted men. According to historian Tyler Anbinder, three-quarters of the drafted men in the North in 1863 hired substitutes. In this document, a white Prussian-born cotton merchant named Bernard Bowling (1834-1900) presents his military substitute to gain exemption from the draft: "Henry Porter, age 22 years, black eyes, black hair, dark complexion . . . assigned to the 88th Regiment of U.S. Col. Infantry." It is accompanied by Bowling's "Certificate of Non-Liability" "by reason of having furnished a substitute." 88th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry was organized April 4, 1864, from 17th Corps de Afrique Infantry. Duty at Port Hudson, La., till July, 1864, when it was broken up July 28, 1864. Then Organized at Memphis, Tenn., February 20, 1865. Attached to Post and Defences of Memphis, Tenn., District of West Tennessee, and Consolidated with 3rd United States Colored Heavy Artillery December, 16, 1865. The 88th was one of 22 Regiments of colored Infantry during the civil war.

Item #18701

Price: $2,850.00