Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy

By Albert Burton Moore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
THE DUAL SYSTEM (Continued)

SWIFT measures were adopted to oppose the advance of the enemy in Tennessee and Virginia. First, President Davis called out the reserves between 40 and 45. Second, he called upon the governors to raise State troops for State defense, so that the regulars might be transferred to the main battle-fields. Third, Colonel John S. Preston, who had attracted considerable attention as commandant of conscripts in South Carolina, was put in charge of the Bureau of Conscription. Colonel Preston was expected to put life and order in the conscript system. The former superintendents, according to Secretary Seddon, had been too much interested in field affairs to give conscription their full energies. He appointed Preston because it had become "most important to secure the promptest and most efficient execution of the law of conscription throughout the Confederacy."1 Fourth, General Johnston, upon his urgent request, which was sanctioned by the governors of the States concerned, was given complete jurisdiction over conscription in his department (Department No. 2).2 He set up a bureau of conscription, put General Pillow

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1
O. R. ser. IV, vol. II, 635, 636.
2
O. R. ser. I, vol. XXIII, Pt. II, 912; ser. IV, vol. II, 868, 911. The request was made and sanctioned, it was said, because the conscript law was not being enforced in this department.

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